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Jordanians protest against water-for-energy deal with Israel

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Hundreds of demonstrators gather in Jordan's capital, Amman, on November 26, 2021 for a protest against a water-for-energy deal with Israel and the United Arab Emirates. (Photo by AFP)

Thousands of Jordanians have taken to the streets to protest against a water-for-energy deal with Israel and the United Arab Emirates, denouncing it as humiliating submission.

The protest took place amid heavy police presence in the capital, Amman, after Friday prayers.

During the demonstration, the participants chanted "No to the agreement of shame," and some carried banners that read "Normalization is treason."

The protest was organized by a mix of opposition parties, including Islamic and leftist groups, as well as tribal groupings and unions.

"This deal is aimed at linking Jordan with the Zionist entity completely. It is not a trade deal, it is a normalization deal that is shameful and humiliating," said Ali Abu Sukkar, a prominent opposition figure.

Jordan, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates signed the deal in the presence of US climate envoy John Kerry on Monday. The initiative is subject to feasibility studies.

Under the agreement, Jordan would supply Israel with 600 megawatts of power generated from a solar plant that would be built by the UAE, which became the first Persian Gulf Arab country to normalize ties with Tel Aviv last year, while Israel would provide water-scarce Jordan with 200 million cubic meters of desalinated water in return.

After the agreement was announced earlier this week, students staged sporadic demonstrations at university campuses across Jordan despite a ban on protests, calling on the kingdom to cut ties with Tel Aviv and scrap the project.

Jordan signed a so-called peace deal with Israel in 1994, but Jordanians are at odds with their government and oppose any form of normalization of ties with the occupying regime.

The vast majority of Arabs also oppose normalization and support the Palestinian cause.

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