Jordanian officials: 'We won't give up border enclaves'

Jordan has 'great interest' in reclaiming enclaves leased to Israel, officials say.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Agricultural in Tzofar
Agricultural in Tzofar
Central Arava Regional Council

Senior Jordanian officials have clarified that they have no intention of relinquishing two enclaves leased to Israel 25 years ago, Yediot Aharonot reported Tuesday.

According to the officials, who include former Justice Minister and MP Salah al-Armouti, "the lease on the two areas has expired and Jordan has a great interest and reclaiming al-Joumar and Baqoura."

The report also quoted two senior Jordanian spokespersons, who claimed that Israel takes Jordan for granted, and did not bother holding organized negotiations on the subject. It claimed that Leith Nasrawi, a law professor in Amman, said that "the enclaves mentioned in the peace agreements obligated the sides to negotiate regarding the future implementation of the agreement, including leasing the areas to Israel, but nothing was done."

Jordan's Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi, noted: "A year ago we informed the Israelis regarding the transfer of these areas to us, as agreed in the peace agreement."

The enclaves were leased as part of a larger peace agreement, in a 25-year contract, with the understanding that the agreement would be extended prior to its expiration. However, in October 2018, Jordan's King Abdullah said that he had no intention of extending the lease.

The areas in question are Naharayim, in the Jordan Valley, and Tzofar, in the Arava. Both areas are used by Israel for agriculture.