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Jordan mulls terminating land lease to Israel under peace treaty

By JT - Mar 26,2018 - Last updated at Mar 26,2018

AMMAN — Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi on Sunday said that the Baqoura and Ghumar areas are under the territorial sovereignty of Jordan.

In response to a question by MP Ibrahim Abulez, Safadi said that the Baqoura area in the side of the Jordan River is a “private property” of Israelis since 1927 while the Ghumar area in the southern Wadi Araba region is owned by the state. 

During the Lower House’s oversight session on Sunday, Safadi added that the exploitation right of the two areas is regulated by the annexes of the 1994 Jordanian-Israeli Wadi Araba Peace Treaty.

“The government is currently examining its decision regarding the nature of use of the Baqoura and Ghumar areas in a way that serves the higher national interests,” Safadi said.  

Ending the Israeli lease of the Baqoura and Ghumar areas has been a pressing demand of MPs, political parties and activists.

Under the peace treaty with Israel, the two parties agreed that the “Naharayim/Baqoura area and Zofar area will fall under Jordanian sovereignty with Israeli private land use rights. 

These rights include unimpeded freedom of entry to, exit from and movement within the area.

“These areas are not subject to customs or immigration legislation. These rights will remain in force for 25 years and will be renewed automatically for the same period unless either country wishes to terminate the arrangement, in which case consultations will be taken.”

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