Jordan’s king declares ‘full sovereignty’ over leased Israeli farmland; reports conflict as to farmers’ future

Many pundits felt that Israel has the leverage to negotiate a new deal because the Jewish State supplies tens of millions of cubic meters of water to Jordan each year.

By World Israel News Staff

Jordan’s King Abdullah announced on Sunday that he has taken full sovereignty over land previously leased to Israel.

The Jordanian king was referring to Naharayim and Tzofar, two areas of land adjacent to Jordan that had been leased to Israel for 25 years following the signing of the 1994 Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty.

At 4:30 p.m. on Saturday the gate to the area was closed, and control was returned to Jordan.

According to a report by Channel 13 News, Israel’s request for a six-month extension was denied by the Jordanian government.

However, Haaretz reported on Sunday that the lease agreement has been extended until April under a new set of undisclosed restrictions.

According to the report, the area is now a closed military zone that permits entry only to farmers who currently attend the land, provided that they hold a valid passport.

The IDF is still providing security support to the local farmers.

“In continuation of the deliberation on the diplomatic arrangements in the Tzofar enclave, security forces are protecting the area and working together with the community,” the IDF said in a statement.

“The farmers’ work at the enclave is continuing subject to agreements and coordination,” the statement added.

Last year, Jordan’s king announced that the lease will not be renewed.

“Our decision is to terminate the Baquoura [Naharayim] and Ghamar [Tzofar] annexes from the peace treaty out of our keenness to take all decisions that would serve Jordan and Jordanians,” King Abdullah said at the time.

After King Abdullah made his announcement, many political pundits felt that Israel would have strong leverage to negotiate a new deal because the Jewish State supplies tens of millions of cubic meters of water to Jordan each year, and also because Israel allows Jordan to use their airspace.