Jordanians demand scrapping of $10 billion gas deal with Israel

A protester against Israel-Jordan energy deal wears a T-shirt with the slogan “the enemy’s gas is an occupation.” (via Twitter)

Jordanians will rally in downtown Amman on Friday to protest a $10 billion deal signed this week by the government-owned electricity company to buy Israeli-supplied natural gas.

Demonstrations are being planned in other cities, backed by a coalition of parties and groupings from across Jordan’s political spectrum.

“Signing this agreement blatantly ignores the will of the Jordanian people who principally and unequivocally rejected the agreement through two years of demonstrations across the country, national petitions signed by Jordanians and their political parties, trade unions and civil society organizations,” Jordan BDS, a group that backs the Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, said on Wednesday.

After news of the signing broke, Jordanians took to the street outside the electricity company headquarters on Tuesday to protest the deal:

On Thursday, students at the University of Jordan in Amman held a large rally against the deal:

The Islamic Action Front has also urged the government to cancel the deal. Affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Action Front and its allies won 15 seats in Jordan’s parliamentary elections earlier this month, a strong showing after the group had boycotted the polls for a decade.

The vast majority of members of Jordan’s previous parliament had expressed opposition to a deal. But the legislature has little power to check government policy.

“The government completely disregarded the wishes of the Jordanian people whose representatives in parliament voted in an overwhelming majority in December 2014 to reject the deal,” Jordan BDS said.

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