Israel to Extend Water Agreement With Jordan in Response to Defense Cooperation

By Yoni Weiss

View of the border fence between Israel and Jordan in the Jordan Valley. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

In light of Jordan’s key role in the Western coalition’s successful interception of Iranian missiles and drones aimed at Israel, there is an anticipation that Israel will extend the Jordanian-Israeli water agreement for an additional year. Energy Minister Eli Cohen is expected to announce this extension soon.

Jordan’s Air Force was instrumental in intercepting Iranian UAVs and also facilitated U.S. fighter jets using its airspace to achieve the same objective. This cooperation comes despite previous tensions, notably Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi’s critical stance on Israel and his support for South Africa’s legal actions against Israel at the International Court of Justice.

Initially, Jordan sought a five-year extension of the water agreement, but due to Israel’s hesitance, it modified its request to just one year. The extension is crucial for Jordan, which faces a severe water crisis. As a landlocked country with limited water resources beyond the Jordan River, Jordan’s economic viability is deeply intertwined with its water supply.

The challenges of drought, exacerbated by climate change, along with a growing population and the influx of Syrian refugees, have worsened Jordan’s economic conditions. The nation now confronts a substantial gap between water supply and demand, estimated at half-a-billion cubic meters.

The original terms of the Jordan-Israel peace accord mandated an annual transfer of 50 million cubic feet of water from Israel to Jordan. In the summer of 2021, then-Prime Minister Naftali Bennett increased this amount to 100 million cubic feet for three years, a period that concludes next month. Following Jordan’s recent assistance against the Iranian threat, Israel is poised to approve a one-year extension of this vital agreement.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!