Amid official silence and popular rejection… an Emirati agreement to connect Jordanian electricity to Israeli water
Oman Talk about a four-way agreement bringing together Jordan, Israel, the UAE and America to exchange electricity and water between Amman and Tel Aviv continues to envelop an official Jordanian silence, despite the escalating talk about the agreement in the Israeli and American media.
The agreement or memorandum of understanding – which is likely to be signed today, Monday at the 2021 Dubai Expo, according to Israeli media – comes after Jordan and Israel reached an agreement with Emirati support and funding and sponsorship from the US administration stipulating the construction of a huge solar power plant in the Jordanian desert to generate electricity for Israel. In return, a desalination plant dedicated to Jordan will be established on the Mediterranean coast.
The agreement, covered with the cover of a “memorandum of understanding regulating cooperation in the field of climate threats,” is signed by Jordan’s Minister of Water and Irrigation Muhammad al-Najjar, Israeli Energy Minister Karen al-Harar, and Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed, in addition to the US climate envoy John Kerry, according to media outlets. Israeli.
If the “electricity for water” project agreement is signed, it will constitute the second strategic project to link Israel and the neighboring Arab countries, and it comes after the natural gas purchase agreement under which Tel Aviv penetrated both Amman and Cairo, according to analysts.
Analysts believe that the United States has always been keen on linking Arab parties and countries in the region with Israel through strategic projects related to energy and water, which means – according to the Jordanian opposition – “the Zionists of Arab energy, and mortgaging the future of Jordanians and the region in the hands of the Israeli occupation.”
The US-sponsored Jordanian-Israeli-Emirati quartet of talks on the terms of the agreement continued for the past six months and enjoyed complete secrecy between the interlocutors, according to Israeli media, and was scheduled to be signed at the Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, but the Israeli side requested that it be postponed.
The official spokesman for the Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Omar Salama, told Al Jazeera Net that he “has absolutely no knowledge of the agreement or any details about it.”
While an official source told Al Jazeera Net that “the terms of the memorandum of understanding on the electricity-for-water agreement were kept strictly confidential, and only two official figures know its details, the Minister of Water and Irrigation Muhammad Al-Najjar, one of them.”
As for the Jordanian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, it is not aware of any details about the agreement, according to an official source in the ministry.
Economically, the former Jordanian Minister of Water Raed Abu Al-Saud believes that “talking about the agreement came as a surprise to him,” adding that “Israel operates many desalination plants on the occupied Palestinian coasts, and if the agreement is concluded, he expects to “provide Jordan with 100 million dollars.” cubic meters in the first phase, which can be expanded in second phases, to be supplied to the populated areas in northern Jordan, which are 40 kilometers away between the two countries.
In return – and according to Abu Al-Saud – Israel will be provided with 1.2 gigawatts of electricity produced from a solar power plant that will be built in the south or east of the Kingdom, and a financial settlement will be made according to the agreement between the two countries on electricity and water prices.
Energy expert Amer Al-Shobaki told Al Jazeera Net that the agreement to build a solar power plant in southern Jordan to supply the Israeli side with electricity in exchange for establishing a water desalination plant on the shores of Haifa to supply Jordan with desalinated water would “take the security of the energy and water sectors out of Jordan’s hands in favor of the Israeli occupation.” which poses an existential threat to the kingdom.”
Al-Shobaki added that the plan behind this agreement is that “the occupying country will become a center for the Middle East in the field of energy, water and trade.”
Al-Shobaki presented his country’s government with a detailed study for establishing a water desalination plant on the Gulf of Aqaba (350 km south of Jordan), drawing water to the capital Amman and the northern governorates, with the establishment of a solar power plant in the south of the Kingdom that provides clean energy and zero carbon emissions for the project, at a cost of up to 600 million dollars .
The project presented in Al-Shobaki’s study is distinguished – according to his speech – as “a national par excellence, sustainable and achieving its goals by feeding Jordan with drinking water.” environment and facing climate change.
The solar power plant in Jordan is being built with Emirati support and funding, according to American media, which indicates – according to analysts – that the UAE, after signing the peace agreement with Israel, has become a major party in strategic projects with the Israelis, similar to this agreement, and this is acceptable to Jordan.
assault on sovereignty
Politically, the Jordanian opposition sees the agreement as “a blatant attack on Jordanian sovereignty, subject to vital sectors in the hands of the Israeli occupation, and a departure from the position of the Jordanian people rejecting all forms of normalization with the occupation,” according to the speech of the Secretary-General of the Islamic Action Front, Murad Al-Adayleh.
As for the coordinator of the “enemy gas is an occupation” campaign, Hisham Al-Bustani, against the agreement to import gas from Israel, he sees in the agreement “Israel controls the future of Jordanians in the electricity, gas and water sectors, and Zionist control over the entire Arab region through major strategic projects.”