Jordan's king to scrap part of Israel peace treaty

Jordan King to Abandon Part of 1994 Peace Treaty With Israel on Land Lease

Jordan shocks Jerusalem, downgrades peace treaty with Israel

Jordan's King Abdullah II says he has decided not to renew parts of his country's landmark peace treaty with Israel.

Jordan's King Abdullah told Israel he has made a decision to not renew parts of their 1994 peace treaty.

Under Annex I (b) and (c) Jordan leased the Naharayim/Baqura and the Zofar/Al-Ghamr areas, formally under Jordanian sovereignty, to Israel for a period of 25 years which was to be automatically renewed for the same period on an ongoing basis.

Abdullah also tweeted: "Baqoura and Ghamar have always been at the top of our priorities and our decision to terminate the annexation of Baqoura and Ghumar from the peace treaty is based on our commitment to take all necessary decisions for Jordan and Jordanians".

"Al-Baqura and al-Ghumar are Jordanian land and will remain Jordanian". "These circumstances indicate that it is in Jordan's own interest to continue adhering to the peace treaty", he said.

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King Abdullah has been under increasing public pressure to end the arrangements with Israel.

There was no immediate Israeli reaction.

Baqura is a border area of six square kilometers (2.4 sq miles) in Jordan's northern Irbid province, while Ghumar covers four square kilometres in the southern Aqaba province.

In response to the move, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged, as cited by Haaretz, to try and talk Jordan into extending the lease.

After the king's announcement on Sunday, Jordanians took to social media, calling it a "historic and wise decision".

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Under Jordan's constitutional monarchy, only King Abdullah has the power to eventually rescind the peace deal with Israel. In an "era of regional turmoil" his Kingdom - between Syria to the north, Iraq to the east and Israel to its west - Jordan wanted to protect its "national interests", Abdullah said.

Jordanian security forces stand on guard as protesters wave Jordanian flags and chant slogans during a demonstration near the Israeli embassy in the capital Amman on July 28, 2017.

The deadline to renew the lease is October 25.

Under the treaty, Israel retained private land ownership and special travel rights in Baquora in the northwestern part of the kingdom and Ghumar in the south.

Israel's former ambassador to Jordan, Oded Eran, said he was not surprised by Jordan's decision, and said there was still time for the two countries to re-negotiate the agreement.

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They have also been expanding economic ties in the previous year including a major deal to export billions of dollars of Israeli gas to the kingdom through a pipeline that crosses their northern borders. He dismissed the possibility that Jordan might pull out of other parts of the broader peace treaty.

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