Jordanian Parliament votes to ban Israeli gas imports following mass protests

Demonstrators hold Jordanian national flags and chant slogans during a protest against a government's agreement to import natural gas from Israel, in Amman, Jordan January 17, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)

Members of the Jordanian Parliament voted on Sunday to prohibit the import of gas from Israel following protests in the country’s capital city of Amman.

The vote follows protests by hundreds of Jordanians on Friday in downtown Amman, calling on the government to cancel an import agreement that saw Israel begin pumping natural gas to the Kingdom at the start of this year.

Earlier this month, Jordan’s National Electric Power Co., said gas pumping had started as part of a multi-billion-dollar deal with Texas-based Noble Energy, aimed at lowering the cost of power in the energy-poor Kingdom.

Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Group are, among others, partners in the newly operational Leviathan gas field off Israel’s Mediterranean coast.

When the deal was signed in 2016, it was not reviewed by Jordan’s lower house of Parliament. Last year, that body issued a non-binding resolution against the agreement.

From the same Leviathan gas field, Israel has also begun exporting natural gas to Egypt. On Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasted about the move, saying on Twitter that he has labored to make Israel a “world power exporter.”

- With the Associated Press

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Last Update: 12:10 KSA 15:10 - GMT 12:10
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