Government to Advance Jordan Gateway Industrial Park Plan


View of the border between Israel and Jordan. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The government on Sunday approved the proposal of Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej to accelerate the implementation of the “Jordan Gateway” project – a joint industrial zone between Israel and Jordan.

The project was first proposed during talks on the 1994 peace agreement.

Staff work on preparing the decision and the operating model for the terminal was led by the Prime Minister’s Office and the Regional Cooperation Ministry, in conjunction with other ministries.

In recent years, the Regional Cooperation Ministry, in conjunction with the Emek Hama’ayanot Regional Council in the Jordan Valley, has advanced the project and worked to remove impediments and update the relevant planning and legal issues, including the construction of a bridge between Israel and Jordan to serve as a crossing between the park on its Jordanian side and its Israeli side, the building of which was completed some time ago.

Lapid stated after the decision that “28 years since the peace agreement with Jordan, we are taking the good neighborly relations between our two countries another step forward. This is a breakthrough that will contribute greatly to developing and strengthening the region.”

The final details regarding this initiative were addressed last week during his visit with King Abdullah II in Amman.

“This is an initiative that will increase employment in both countries, advance our economic and diplomatic relations, and enhance the peace and friendship between our two countries,” he noted.

The joint industrial zone on the border will “allow Israeli and Jordanian entrepreneurs and businesspeople to communicate directly. It will produce joint initiatives in trade, technology and local industry,” Lapid said.

Israel’s Airports Authority will build and operate the Jordan Gateway Park Terminal, which will include a facility for hosting businesspeople and guests who will arrive from the Jordanian side for business purposes.

The project will be advanced, developed and operated in coordination and conjunction with the Kingdom of Jordan and with mutual agreement on the goals of the project and aspects of its operation.

Israel’s diplomatic relations with Jordan have been tense for years, and more so since the Hashemite Kingdom announced it would withdraw from part of the peace agreement with Israel. In the past year, the current government has attempted to turn the tide.

While Jordan officially remains committed to the peace agreement, relations are limited largely to behind-the-scenes security ties and some environmental and economic cooperation.

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