Scores of protesters march downtown against 'energy-for-water' deal

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People gathered in downtown Amman on Friday, December 3, 2021, to protest the “energy-for-water” letter of intent. (Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan news)
AMMAN — Under the slogan “The Enemy’s Gas is Occupation,” demonstrators against the energy-for-water letter of intent signed in November between Jordan, Israel, and the UAE marched the streets of downtown Amman on Friday, raising banners critical of the agreement and calling on the government to call it off.اضافة اعلان

Organized by the Jordanian National Campaign to Drop the Gas Agreement, the demonstrators included members of youth parties, trade unions, lawmakers, and activists.  Following Friday prayers, they took off from Al-Husseini Mosque and marched towards Al-Nakhil Square.

The protest organizers said the goal was to denounce all forms of conventions, agreements, and normalization with the Israeli occupation.

Some of the banners raised by the scores of protesters read: “The gas agreement is occupation,” “The enemy’s gas is occupation,” “There shall be no normalization nor subjugation … the people of Jordan are not for sale,” “We don't want gas and water, we want to live freely,” and “The Jordanian people are with the resistance.”

Member of the House of Representatives Saleh Al-Armouti said that Friday's protest is an expression of the people’s discontent with the government's policies, adding that the government must stop importing gas from the occupying entity. 

“The declaration of intent for the energy-for-water deal is a purely political decision and has no economic dimension,” he said.

People gathered in downtown Amman on Friday, December 3, 2021, to protest the “energy-for-water” letter of intent. (Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan news)

Armouti added that the deal would be the first topic on the agenda of a meeting in Parliament on Monday.  He was critical of the Minister of State for Media Affairs for his silence on the agreement, urging him to resign.  “He did not provide or disclose any information about the signing,” Armouti said.

Alaa Hajja, a member of the Jordanian Democratic Popular Unity Party, told Jordan News that the participants in the protest wanted to show their rejection of the letter of intent as well as of the agreement signed in 2016 between Jordan and Israel.

Under the 2016 gas agreement, Israel would supply Jordan with approximately 45 billion cubic meters of gas over a period of 15 years, starting from January 2020.

In March 2019, the House of Representatives took a unanimous decision to reject the gas agreement, but the Constitutional Court decided that the agreement “does not require the approval of the National Assembly” because it was signed between two companies, not two governments.

The agreement was signed between the National Electric Power Company’s (NEPCO) and Noble Energy; the operator of the Leviathan natural gas field off the coast of Israel.

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