Protests against normalizing ties with Israel in Amman, Jordan. 26 November, 2021. (Photo credit: Khalil Mazraawi / AFP)
On 3 December, hundreds gathered in the Jordanian capital, Amman, following Friday prayers to protest against a water-for-energy deal with Israel, saying the normalization of ties with Tel Aviv flies in the face of decades of human rights abuses committed against Palestinians.
In response to the mobilization riot police were deployed heavily around a downtown area leading to the Husseini Mosque, where demonstrators marched.
Speaking to Al Mayadeen, protesters said that “hostility to the Zionist entity is not only because of our attachment to the Palestinian cause, which is the essence of liberation, but is also the result of our realization that we are Zionist targets.”
Last month, the Jordanian water minister, along with Israel’s energy minister and the UAE’s climate change minister, signed the water-for-energy deal in Dubai in the presence of US climate envoy John Kerry.
One of the proposed projects under the deal is the building of a solar energy plant in Jordan. The plant to be constructed by Masdar, a UAE state-owned alternative energy company, is expected to generate 600 megawatts of electricity that will be exported to Israel.
In addition to paying $180 million per year to the Jordanian government and Masdar, Tel Aviv will construct a desalination plant on its Mediterranean coast to provide water to Jordan.
Since the signing of the agreement, Jordanian citizens have been taking to the streets in protest, often chanting “No to the agreement of shame” and carrying signs that read “Normalization is treason.”
“I don’t see this agreement ticking any boxes to achieve energy and water security … This is more of a political deal; it’s not about the feasibility or the strategy,” Rund Awwad, an engineer specializing in renewable energies and energy policy in Jordan, was quoted by Press TV as saying.
Awwad also pointed out that the project will use a “huge amount” of Jordanian land, and that protesters would rather see this land used “for strategic projects that would benefit Jordan.”