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Professional associations express ‘utmost rejection’ of gas deal with Israel

By JT - Jul 21,2018 - Last updated at Jul 21,2018

AMMAN — Professional associations on Saturday expressed their utmost rejection of the gas deal with Israel and of the gas pipeline project between the occupied Palestinians territories and the northern region of the Kingdom.

During a press conference, President of the Professional Associations Council Ali Obous said that there are many alternative energy resources that can spare Jordan of “the gas stolen by the [Israeli] occupation”, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

President of the Jordan Bar Association Mazen Irsheidat stated that the syndicate will ban lawyers from engaging in cases of expropriation of lands that the pipeline will go through. 

He stressed that there is “a clear violation” in referring the project tender without the approval of the engineers and contractors associations, as the law stipulates having a licensed Jordanian contractor with any foreign contractor, adding that there are unlicensed contractors involved in the scheme.   

President of the Jordan Engineers Association (JEA) Ahmad Zu’bi expressed the syndicate’s rejection of the deal which, he said, “serves the Israeli occupation”.

For his part, President of the Jordan Contractors Association Ahmad Yacoub noted that the pipeline project is not registered in the syndicate which does not have any official documents related to the project.

He stated that the association and the JEA tried to ban foreign contractors’ entry to Jordan for not having licensed Jordanian peers as stipulated in the law. 

President of the Jordan Geologists Association Sakher Ensour referred to national resources to secure the Kingdom’s energy resources, including the “energy basket” that is considered a comprehensive national project of solar and wind energy, shale oil and uranium. 

He stressed that extracting shale oil will provide the Kingdom with 480 megawatts of electricity by 2020, while uranium reserves can provide 50 per cent of energy resources Jordan needs.

In September 2016, the National Electric Power Company signed a 15-year agreement with Noble Energy, a Houston-based company that holds the largest share in the Israeli Leviathan Gas Field, with the aim of receiving $10 billion-worth of natural gas supplies.

In January, the Department of Lands and Survey published an advertisement in Al Rai newspaper, announcing that the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources had acquired some lands along Irbid, Ramtha and Mafraq where the pipeline is expected to be built. However, it was not mentioned in the advertisement that the lands would be used for this particular unpopular project.

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