Jordan tells Israel to return lands leased under 1994 peace deal

Jordan shocks Jerusalem downgrades peace treaty with Israel

Jordan shocks Jerusalem downgrades peace treaty with Israel

The parts Jordan wants to revoke relate to two parcels of land Jordan leased to Israel for 25 years.

Jordan's King Abdullah II says Amman has already notified Israel that it will not extend its lease of two border territories to the Tel Aviv regime, stressing that his country is resolute to reclaim both regions under a bilateral peace deal signed nearly a quarter of a century ago.

The lease is scheduled to expire on October 25.

Jordan's decision to downgrade its peace treaty with Israel came as a complete surprise to Jerusalem, as it means the handing over of territories to the Jordanians.

"Baqoura and Ghumar are Jordanian lands and will remain Jordanian and we will exercise full sovereignty over our territory", the king said, according to a royal court statement. "These circumstances indicate that it is in Jordan's own interest to continue adhering to the peace treaty".

Despite the two sides sharing close security ties, there has been increased tensions between Jordan and Israel over the Israeli governments "provocative" measures ranging from placing restrictions on the Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque and the Noble Sanctuary - recognised in the peace treaty as under Jordanian custodianship - to the continued construction of settlements on 1967 territory.

The case of Baqoura could provide a predicament for Israel and Jordan given a possible dispute over land rights. Last week, demonstrators demanding an end to Israeli ownership of the lands marched in Jordan's capital of Amman last week.

King Abdullah II of Jordan, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"According to our constitution, it is unacceptable that Jordanian lands are not under the country's sovereignty", he said.

If Jordan needs to stop Israelis from using these lands, Qassem told MEE, then both parties will enter into open-ended negotiations, and if these negotiations fail then they can go to arbitration. He spoke at a memorial for the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who signed the peace deal with Jordan. They also held up signs saying: "Earth equals dignity".

Public sentiment in Jordan against Israel is strong because of its continued occupation of Palestinian territories and its treatment of Palestinians.

Under an annex to the peace agreement, Israel uses about 1,000 acres (405 hectares) of agricultural land in the southern sector of its border with Jordan.

When it was signed in 1994, the Wadi Araba treaty made Jordan one of only two Arab countries to have reached a peace agreement with Israel, along with Egypt in 1979.

The arbitration clause in the Jordan-Israel agreement is the same as the one in the Camp David agreement, without specifying where it will take place and under which law it will be executed, Qassem explained.

Israel and Jordan reached an agreement to end the diplomatic fight in January, when a Jordanian government spokesperson said he had received from Israel an "official memorandum" apologizing for the deaths of the two Jordanians, as well as for the killing of a Jordanian judge in a separate incident in 2014.

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