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Cheers flood in from across Kingdom as Baqura, Al Ghamr return to Jordan

By Rana Husseini , Maram Kayed - Nov 10,2019 - Last updated at Nov 10,2019

The Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army raises the national flag in Baqura, fully restoring Jordan’s sovereignty over the area (Al Rai photo)

AMMAN — Political activists, youth and citizens expressed their joy and pride in the Kingdom’s decision to terminate the annexes of Baqura and Al Ghamr in the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty.

In his Speech from the Throne, the constitutionally-mandated address by the King at the opening of ordinary sessions of Parliament, His Majesty King Abdullah said: “Today, I announce the termination of the annexes. Jordan will now impose full sovereignty on every inch of Baqura and Al Ghamr.”

During the speech, Jordan’s army raised the Kingdom’s flag over Baqura. Shortly after the speech, videos of Israelis leaving the area began circulating on social media, and the hashtag #Baqura_Al Ghamr became trending on Twitter and Facebook.

"Thank you, Your Majesty, and congratulations to every Jordanian man and woman ... Baqura and Al Ghamr are back home," Jordanian singer Hussein Alsalman said.

Secretary General of the Jordanian People's Democratic Party Abla Abu Olbeh said that it is a day to celebrate an important nationalistic and sovereign decision.

“This is a great achievement and what happened today should be a beginning for Jordan to work on protecting its interests by cancelling the Wadi Araba Peace Treaty, which is against the Kingdom’s interest on all levels,” Abu Olbeh told The Jordan Times.

Mohammad Absi, head of the “Etharrak” anti-normalisation campaign and a member of Al Wihda Popular Party, said that this is a “great day for Jordan to celebrate and remember because it is an important achievement, but there are many sovereign matters to resolve including the gas deal [with Israel] and our water rights”.

“We have many issues that will allow the Israelis to exploit Jordan in the future in other sovereign matters that are mentioned in the peace treaty, and will eventually cause a lot of threat to our security, stability and interests,” Absi told The Jordan Times.

Mizan Law Group Executive Director Eva Abu Halaweh said: “Today we restored our dignity.”

“I feel that Israel might seek revenge, but regardless of this fact, retrieving our land is our dignity and watching our flag over these areas is a source of pride," Abu Halaweh said.

“It is also a source of pride and trust in our diplomacy,” she told The Jordan Times.

Umm Mohammad, a mother of five children, said: “This is a victory for Jordan and we are grateful for King Abdullah’s efforts.”

 “We are very happy that Al Ghamr and Baqura are back to Jordan under our full control, but we hope that we will make good use of the land and we will fully benefit from it,” Umm Mohammad told The Jordan Times.

A 23-year-old female teacher, who preferred not to be identified, said that she never expected that “anything will be given back to Jordan from the Israeli government”.

“We hope that we will have full sovereignty over these two beautiful areas and that we will not have to give up other things in return,” the teacher told The Jordan Times.

Thousands of other Jordanians tweeted photos of the newly returned lands, many of which were captioned: “Welcome back to Jordan, Baqura and Al Ghamr!”

Obeida Yehya, a Jordanian citizen, tweeted: “What a great morning. A Hashemite morning, as it should be called.” 

“This generation, guided by His Majesty King Abdullah, will not allow any inch of Jordan to be occupied, leased or sold,” tweeted Abed Olimat, another citizen.

Many Jordanians on social media called their happiness “25-years due”, the length of time that the lands have been leased since the 1994 Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty. The decision to terminate the agreement to lease the lands was made in October of 2018.

Support for King Abdullah’s decision on social media extended beyond the Jordanian population. Salah Ali Salah, from Yemen, said in a tweet that he “hopes other Arab leaders will follow His Majesty King Abdullah’s footsteps in putting their nations’ interests first”.

Raed Mamoni, from Palestine, tweeted that he “asks his government to follow Jordan’s example and put its foot down when it comes to their people’s rights and interests”.

Local Palestinian and Israeli media reported that Jordan has informed the Israeli authorities to evacuate the area, and photos of the Israeli forces closing their entry points to the area circulated on social media.

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