King Abdullah II tweeted: “Jordan’s sovereignty over its land is above all else.”
By World Israel News Staff
Jordan’s King Abdullah II and his son, Crown Prince Hussein, paid a visit on Monday to Naharayim, an enclave termed the ‘Island of Peace’ returned by Israel to Jordanian authorities the day before, 25 years after the two countries signed a peace treaty and upon expiration of the Israeli lease over the area under the terms of the treaty.
The purpose of the lease had been to allow Israeli farmers from Kibbutz Ashdot Ya’acov to continue to cultivate the land. On Monday, a new lock was placed on the gate to the site by the Jordanian army after Amman authorities refused to renew the lease. The Israeli park which operated there ceased operations.
Abdullah issued a declaration at the site and the Jordanian flag was hoisted.
The monarch tweeted: “Jordan’s sovereignty over its land is above all else.”
Naharayim is located just below the Sea of Galilee. Israel also handed over Tzofar, a border strip situated south of the Dead Sea.
Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz said that he was not giving up on maintaining farming rights to the area.
“We will try to reach arrangements with Jordan to allow Israeli farmers to continue working on the site,” said the foreign minister, adding that Israel was “also looking for alternatives to allow farmers who worked there to continue to cultivate the land and continue their operations.”
Katz also said that Israel wanted to hold a ceremony with Jordanian officials marking the 25th anniversary of the peace treaty but that Amman declined.