A Prelude to the Role of Jordan in the “Deal of the Century” for Palestine
An important player in Palestine’s issue is Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan which received the most influence from Palestine-Israel struggle as well.
According to census, Jordan hosts more than 2 million Palestinian refugees (including refugees of 1967 war) from 1948 which is the foundation of Zionist Regime of Israel. Jordan has promoted most of them Jordanian citizenship but their passport is different from other citizens and census show that more than 60% of Jordan’s 10 million population are Palestinians and their children and some live outside UNRWA camps.
At the moment some parts of West Bank is under govern of Jordan and King of Jordan is custodian of holy Quds. In previous years, Jordan’s King calling Quds issue the red line reacted to recurrent Zionist and Jewish hardliners assaulting Al Aqsa Mosque in presence of Israel Police.
However it seems this stance is to have a political and spiritual credit in fear of Islamic movements. The reason is that the King suffices to a simple political protest to these assaults.
Jordan is also the gate of West Bank and has great influence on Israel but is the main reason West Bank is not armed. Not only because Jordan is an ally of the West and they require Israel’s security, but also previous experiences that Palestinians were armed in Jordan such as Black September issue is the main reason Jordan is not interested in armed Palestinians of West Bank.
During the time that Fath Movement was powerful specifically the victory over Israel in Battle of Karameh, Jordanian Army forces could not confront the Movement and Palestinians had parts of Jordan’s capital, which resulted in heavy engagements between them and finally the Movement was ejected from Jordan.
Maybe some do not know that Jordan has some lands occupied by Israel. In Israel-Jordan peace treaty of 1994, Israel was committed to return Baqoura(Naharayim) and Ghomar(Tzofar) to Jordan but an annex allowed Israel to rent the lands for 25 years.
Israel farmers use the lands and Israel Police can also enter the area. Under Parliament’s pressure and Muslim Brotherhood’s party of it, Jordan’s King announced after protest of 19 October 2018, that the rent agreement won’t be renewed.
Netanyahu fussed and said we will negotiate. Israel’s Minister of Agriculture also threatened that if Jordan tries to reclaim the areas, Amman’s drinking water (capital of Jordan) will be reduced significantly and then it is Jordanians who need us. The issue has not been resolved yet.
Jordan face numerous troubles in their economy. Lack of significant incomes and vast unfertile deserts on one hand and lack of secured energy source on the other hand make Jordan to have a weak economy. Recent situation in Iraq and Syria, which disrupted Jordan’s transit route, has worsened the economy, add to it more than 1.5 million Syrian and Iraqi new refugees entering Jordan.
Thus, from the point of view of Jordan’s benefits, demands normal relations with Syria and resume export-import with them but their policies are under heavy influence of the West makes it difficult. It is natural due to heavy investments of USA, England and European Union in Jordan plus political and military support of Jordan.
Palestinian and other refugees from one side caused Jordan’s economy to be bigger and have better boom but also imposed some costs on it, which are tried to be overcome by UNRWA funding specifically in education and health costs.
US cut its 446 million USD support of the 1,200 million USD funding which is yet another disaster for Jordan. Now Jordan is more vulnerable and ready to give more points.
With this introduction we will proceed to Jordan’s role in the Deal of the Century in next article…