Jordan's Parliament Passed a Bill Banning Gas Imports from Israel
Jordan's parliament passed a bill yesterday to ban gas imports from Israel, just days after they started under a multibillion-dollar deal struck in 2016 that is opposed by much of the population, Reuters reported.
The document was approved by the 130-member lower house of the Jordanian Parliament and will be submitted to the government for final approval. However, it may not enter into force because of legal obstacles.
The government said earlier that the contract, which faces widespread resistance in Jordan, is a business deal, not a political issue.
The $ 10 billion contract was initially concluded between a Jordanian state-owned utility company and a US-Israeli consortium led by Texas-based Noble Energy to provide gas for power generation from Jordanian power plants. However, the contract was not submitted to parliament for approval.
The Jordanian government said after the deal was signed in 2016 that securing stable energy prices for the next decade could achieve annual savings of at least $500m and help reduce a chronic budget deficit, AL Jazeera reported.
The deal is being criticized as Jordanian lawmakers make the kingdom's energy dependent on Israel. "The gas of the enemy is an occupation. Down with the gas deal," placards carried by protesters said, Al Jazeera reported.
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