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The New Arab

Jordan bans Israeli farmers from leased border lands

Jordan leased the land to Israel as part of a 1994 peace deal [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 November, 2019

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Jordan has said Israeli farmers will be banned from accessing the area in the northern Jordan Valley from Sunday onwards.
Jordan will ban Israeli citizens from entering a part of the Jordan Valley controlled by Israel for more than two decades.

Israeli farmers will be banned from entering the fertile Al-Baqura area from Sunday onwards, the Jordanian government has informed Israel according to the Israeli press.

The areas of Al-Baqura and Al-Ghamar in the Jordan Valley were leased to Israel for 25 years as part of the 1994 peace deal between the two states.

Amman announced last year it would terminate the agreement and retake control of the land.

Despite Jordan's confirmation last month it will resume control over the areas, Israel has continued to push for use of the land.

A request by Tel Aviv to allow Israeli farmers to continue to cultivate land in Al-Baqura and Al-Ghamar was rejected by Amman, Israel's Channel 13 reported on Thursday.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi has, however, suggested that the farmers may receive compensation in return for vacating the land, the Israeli channel claimed.

It is unclear whether Israeli citizens will also be banned from entering Al-Ghamar.

Two Jordanian citizens arrived back in Jordan on Wednesday after being released by Israeli authorities, who had detained them for months without charge, sparking a minor diplomatic row.

Hiba al-Labadi, 24, and Abdul Rahman Miri, 32, both of Palestinian descent, crossed into Jordan via the King Hussein Bridge to be greeted by their families, officials and crowds of supporters.

The pair were transferred to the capital Amman for health tests before being allowed to return to their family homes.

Upon their release, the former head of Israeli security Avi Dichter said Al-Labadi and Miri's detention had been due to their links with Hezbollah and Hamas respectively, claiming that their detention had prevented the militant groups from carrying out attacks in Israel.

Dichter added that the pair's release was after a deal was reached between the countries' political leadership.

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