What did Jordan gain from signing the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty?

[15-09-2021 02:43 PM]

Ammon News - BY Frank Musmar and Najat Al-Saied

On October 26, 1994, leaders of Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty at Wadi Araba, ending the formal state of war between the countries. The treaty was far more than just a formalization of a de facto ceasefire; it fundamentally changed the nature of the Israeli-Jordanian relationship, enhancing mainly security and economy. Jordan benefited from the treaty in these ways:

A. Security

Strong cooperation between Jordanian and Israeli security forces has repeatedly helped thwart potential terrorist threats to both countries.

A solid security arrangement and clearly defined borders weaken the “Jordan is Palestine” argument.

In 1993, Washington provided Amman with $35 million in economic support; in 2014, the figure was $700 million. In 1993, Jordan received $9 million in US foreign military financing; in 2014, it received $300 million. Jordan also received 58 F-16s and a state-of-the-art counterterrorism facility — the King Abdullah Special Operations Training Center (KASOTC) — which was constructed by the US Army Corps of Engineers in 2006-07.

The intelligence partnership between the US and Jordan became so close that the agency had technical personnel “virtually embedded” at Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate headquarters.

The agreement cemented the Jordanian kingdom’s position on the roster of pro-Western Middle Eastern states, which enhances its strategic relationship with Washington.

B. Economy

Strong US commitment to the treaty led to the forgiveness of $700 million in Jordanian debt and an increase in assistance to the point that Jordan is now one of the leading recipients of US aid in the world.

The establishment of Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ) boosted the economy. Created by Congress in 1996, the QIZs allow goods produced in Jordan to enter Israel duty-free. The QIZs in Jordan grew from annual exports of $18 million in 1998 to over $560 million in 2003. Between 1996 and 2010, 13 QIZs were established, providing tens of thousands of Jordanians with employment. The value of Jordanian exports to Israel for the same period totaled $60 million, up 15% from 2003.

Another relatively bright spot has been tourism. In 2013, 218,000 Israelis reportedly visited Jordan, while just over 18,000 Jordanians traveled to Israel. There were 24 weekly flights linking the Ben-Gurion and Sde Dov airports with Queen Alia Airport.

Israel signed a “nonbinding letter of intent” to supply Jordan with natural gas from its offshore Leviathan field. The 15-year deal, which requires a new pipeline, is reportedly worth $15 billion. In February, another agreement was reached by which Israel will supply $500 million worth of gas from the Tamar offshore field to two Jordanian industrial plants near the Dead Sea.

The peace treaty initiated Israeli-Jordanian cooperation in a range of strategically essential realms, including water scarcity. This cooperation stipulates that Israel would provide Jordan’s capital with 8-13 billion gallons per year of fresh water from the Sea of Galilee while Jordan would deliver the same amount of desalinated water pumped from Aqaba to Israel’s Negev desert region.


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