Jordan announced Sunday its withdrawal from part of the 1994 peace agreement with Israel, saying the agricultural areas of Naharayim and Zofar in the Jordan Valley, cultivated by Israeli farmers over the past 25 years, will be reclaimed by the kingdom.
Jerusalem was reportedly shocked by the announcement, as it essentially constitutes a downgrade of the peace treaty between the two countries.
In fact, Naharayim – Hebrew for two rivers, as it is located between the Yarmuk and Jordan Rivers – was opened this year to Israeli visitors under the name “Island of Peace.”
“Al-Baqoura and Al-Ghamr [the Arabic names] have always been our top priority, and our decision is to end Al-Baqoura’s annexation and step away from the peace agreement based on our keenness to take whatever is necessary for Jordan and Jordanians,” Jordan’s King Abdullah II tweeted in Arabic on Sunday.
Israel returned the land to Jordan in 1994, however, according to the peace accord, Israelis were given private land ownership rights and property interests. The agreement would remain in force for 25 years and renewed automatically unless notice of termination was given by either party one year in advance. In such a case, at the request of either party, the details could be renegotiated.
The deadline for termination is October 25.