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Party representatives join protest against gas deal with Israel

By Suzanna Goussous - Oct 22,2016 - Last updated at Oct 22,2016

Anti-normalisation activists picket the National Electric Power Company in Amman on Friday to protest against a deal to import gas from Israel (Photo courtesy of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement)

AMMAN — Protesters from across the political spectrum held a demonstration in Amman on Friday to protest the recent deal to import natural gas from Israel, activists said on Saturday. 

For the third week in a row, protesters held a sit-in outside the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) after Friday prayers. 

The demonstration was organised by the National Jordanian Campaign Against the Gas Agreement with the Zionist Entity and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Jordan movement, in the presence of representatives of several Jordanian parties.

Omar Awwad, of the Jordanian Communist Party, said the party had organised several activities to “fight all kinds of normalisation with the Zionist entity”.

“There are alternatives to generate electricity on our own; we cannot link a whole sector in Jordan to a Zionist state,” he told The Jordan Times.

Signing the deal, Awwad said, generated a political cause in the energy sector in the Kingdom.

“As many European countries boycott the Zionist entity, we as Arabs are signing contracts with it… This is unjustified... Jordanians cannot be part of a decision that will affect our people in Palestine,” Awwad added.

The government says the deal is a matter of national interest, and that it would pave the way for the Kingdom to find new energy sources while providing Jordan with the cheapest source.

Officials have stressed that the deal — signed with Noble Energy, a Houston-based company that holds the largest share in the Israeli Leviathan gas field, located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel — does not support the occupation, stressing the need to put matters in perspective since Jordan has signed a peace deal with Israel.

NEPCO officials say the gas deal with Noble Energy would “save Jordan up to $600 million each year”, with around 300 million cubic feet imported by the Kingdom daily.

Secretary General of the Jordanian Leftist Party Mohammad Kafaween said that since the intention to buy gas from Israel was announced around two years ago, party members had organised activities to fight the deal and to raise awareness.

“We are not only protesting the gas deal; we are also protesting the Wadi Araba Peace Treaty signed with the Zionists that paved the way for other mediums of trade with the occupation state,” he said.

He claimed that the gas deal is not “the cheapest, or easiest”.

The “cheaper” alternatives include Algerian gas, Iranian gas and oil, according to the leftist. 

An activist at the protest said that through peaceful protests, the public becomes more aware of the consequences of signing the gas deal.

“We are aware things might not change today or tomorrow, but at least we can unite to show the world that we are against the gas deal as Jordanians and we can make a difference with time,” she added.

Protesters held a 35-metre-long banner stating: “The Enemy’s Gas is Occupation” in front of the electricity company.

 

On Friday evening, activists attended the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup final in Amman wearing shirts with the same slogan. 

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Comments

Jordan has so many problems. Here is one thing that could be a significant net plus for this country and people are against it. If they would only use the energies they're spending on this towards towards fixing the country's real problems, actual progress might be achieved. Instead again, people are fixated on Israel rather than the actual internal problems of the nation.

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