What Happened: The lower house of the Jordanian Parliament has urged the government to cancel a $10 billion natural gas deal between Jordan's national electricity company and Israel, The Jordan Times reported March 27. The lawmakers cited energy security concerns and argued the deal would help support Israel's control of the West Bank.
Why It Matters: Although Jordanian lawmakers frequently voice their dissatisfaction with Jordanian-Israeli economic relations, the country has few alternatives for much-needed cheaper energy supply, and it remains unclear whether this call would generate sufficient momentum to cancel the deal.
Background: Relations between the two neighbors are frequently tense, driven mainly by Jordan's large Palestinian population and its sympathy to the Palestinian push for statehood. Jordanian lawmakers recently demanded the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and the recall of the Jordanian envoy from Israel due to disputes over the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif complex in Jerusalem.
- Jordan's King Walks a Fine Line Between Domestic and International Demands (Dec. 5, 2018)
- Nuclear Power's Fading Moment in the Middle East (June 7, 2018)
- Jordan Scrambles to Keep Its Economic Reforms on Course (June 6, 2018)