Jordan has taken back two regions rented free of charge to Israel. The Jewish state wanted to extend the understanding


The King of Jordan, Abdullah II, made official on Sunday the restoration of the kingdom's sovereignty over the Baqura and Ghamr regions, which have been lent to Israel for the past 25 years under the peace agreement between the two countries, France Presse reports, according to Agerpres.

"I proclaim the end of the validity of the annexes of the peace agreement on Baqura and Ghamr and the restoration of our total sovereignty over these territories," Abdallah II told Parliament, in a speech marking the beginning of a new parliamentary session.

The Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty of 1994 authorized the "free disposal" of the lands in the Baqura / Naharayim and Ghamr / Tzofar areas to individual Israeli landowners for an initial 25-year period that expires today.

On Sunday, a yellow barrier on the bridge leading to Baqura prevented Israelis from reaching these lands, according to AFP journalists on the scene.

Naharayim in Hebrew, Baqura in Arabic, is an area of ​​about six square kilometers located near the Jordan River, in the northern part of the Israeli-Jordanian border. Ghamr, called Tzofar in Hebrew, is an area of ​​about four square kilometers, on the line that separates the two countries in the south, to the Dead Sea.

The refusal of the extension is seen as a sign of the increasing tension of diplomatic relations

In October 2018, one year before the deadline expired, King Abdullah II notified Israel of his desire to recover those border areas on which Israeli farmers grow cereals, fruits and vegetables.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he wanted to open negotiations to maintain the status quo, but did not reach an agreement to extend the agreement. Instead, Israeli media evoked talks to compensate Israelis who cultivate these lands.

The head of Jordanian diplomacy, Ayman Safadi, is scheduled to hold a press conference in Baqura on Monday, called by Israelis as the "island of peace", although seven students on a school trip were killed by a Jordanian soldier with mental problems in 1997.

Following this incident, the Jordanian king, Hussein at the time, traveled to the school's hometown, Bet Shemesh, about 30 kilometers west of Jerusalem, to apologize on behalf of his country.

Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979. Jordan followed in 1994, recalls the DPA. But the treaty is unpopular in Jordan, where the pro-Palestinian sentiment is widespread.

The refusal of the Jordanian party to extend the lease period of the respective lands is seen as a sign of the increasing tightening of diplomatic relations.

Web Editor: Liviu Cojan

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