Israel and Jordan Sign Peace Agreement - History

Israel and Jordan Sign Peace Agreement - History


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Israel and Jordan Sign Peace Agreement

On October 26, 1994 Israel and Jordan signed a peace agreement ending the state of war between. The agreement resolved minor border disagreements between the two sides and established full diplomatic relations.



Israel and Jordan had officially been at war since 1948 when Transjordan invaded Israel, as Israel declared its independence. In 1988, Jordan officially gave up any claim to the West Bank. Once Israel entered into the Oslo Accords with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), the path was clear for Jordan and Israel to enter into a peace agreement. President Bill Clinton pressured the Jordanians to enter into an agreement with Israel, and in July 1994 Israel and Jordan entered into a non-belligerency agreement, as a first stage. Over the next three months, the two countries negotiated a final peace agreement. That agreement delineated the borders, and also established full diplomatic relations between Israel and Jordan. Two of the particular provisions of the agreement were recognition of Jordan’s historic role at the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem and Israel’s agreement to provide 50,000,000 cubic meters of water to Jordan. The two sides also agreed to work together towards solutions for the Palestinian refugees


Israel-Jordan Peace Negotiations: Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace

The Government of the State of Israel and the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan:

Bearing in mind the Washington Declaration, signed by them on 25th July, 1994, and which they are both committed to honour

Aiming at the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East based an Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 in all their aspects

Bearing in mind the importance of maintaining and strengthening peace based on freedom, equality, justice and respect for fundamental human rights, thereby overcoming psychological barriers and promoting human dignity

Reaffirming their faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and recognising their right and obligation to live in peace with each other as well as with all states, within secure and recognised boundaries

Desiring to develop friendly relations and co-operation between them in accordance with the principles of international law governing international relations in time of peace

Desiring as well to ensure lasting security for both their States and in particular to avoid threats and the use of force between them

Bearing in mind that in their Washington Declaration of 25th July, 1994, they declared the termination of the state of belligerency between them

Deciding to establish peace between them in accordance with this Treaty of Peace

Have agreed as follows:

ARTICLE 1

ESTABLISHMENT OF PEACE

Peace is hereby established between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (the "Parties") effective from the exchange of the instruments of ratification of this Treaty.

ARTICLE 2

    They recognise and will respect each other's sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence

ARTICLE 3

    The international boundary between Israel and Jordan is delimited with reference to the boundary definition under the Mandate as is shown in Annex I (a), on the mapping materials attached thereto and co-ordinates specified therein.

ARTICLE 4

      1. Both Parties, acknowledging that mutual understanding and co-operation in security-related matters will form a significant part of their relations and will further enhance the security of the region, take upon themselves to base their security relations on mutual trust, advancement of joint interests and co- operation, and to aim towards a regional framework of partnership in peace.

        to refrain from the threat or use of force or weapons, conventional, non-conventional or of any other kind, against each other, or of other actions or activities that adversely affect the security of the other Party

        joining or in any way assisting, promoting or co-operating with any coalition, organisation or alliance with a military or security character with a third party, the objectives or activities of which include launching aggression or other acts of military hostility against the other Party, in contravention of the provisions of the present Treaty.

        to take necessary and effective measures to prevent acts of terrorism, subversion or violence from being carried out from their territory or through it and to take necessary and effective measures to combat such activities and all their perpetrators.

        the creation in the Middle East of a region free from hostile alliances and coalitions

      ARTICLE 5

        The Parties agree to establish full diplomatic and consular relations and to exchange resident ambassadors within one month of the exchange of the instruments of ratification of this Treaty.

      ARTICLE 6

        The Parties agree mutually to recognise the rightful allocations of both of them in Jordan River and Yarmouk River waters and Araba/Arava ground water in accordance with the agreed acceptable principles, quantities and quality as set out in Annex II , which shall be fully respected and complied with.

        development of existing and new water resources, increasing the water availability including co- operation on a regional basis as appropriate, and minimising wastage of water resources through the chain of their uses

      ARTICLE 7

        Viewing economic development and prosperity as pillars of peace, security and harmonious relations between states, peoples and individual human beings, the Parties, taking note of understandings reached between them, affirm their mutual desire to promote economic co-operation between them, as well as within the framework of wider regional economic co-operation.

        to remove all discriminatory barriers to normal economic relations, to terminate economic boycotts directed at each other, and to co-operate in terminating boycotts against either Party by third parties

      ARTICLE 8

        Recognising the massive human problems caused to both Parties by the conflict in the Middle East, as well as the contribution made by them towards the alleviation of human suffering, the Parties will seek to further alleviate those problems arising on a bilateral level.

        in the case of displaced persons, in a quadripartite committee together with Egypt and the Palestinians:

        in the framework of the Multilateral Working Group on Refugees

      ARTICLE 9

        Each party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance.

      ARTICLE 10

      CULTURAL AND SCIENTIFIC EXCHANGES

      The Parties, wishing to remove biases developed through periods of conflict, recognise the desirability of cultural and scientific exchanges in all fields, and agree to establish normal cultural relations between them. Thus, they shall, as soon as possible and not later than 9 months from the exchange of the instruments of ratification of this Treaty, conclude the negotiations on cultural and scientific agreements.

      ARTICLE 11

        The Parties will seek to foster mutual understanding and tolerance based on shared historic values, and accordingly undertake:

        to abstain from hostile or discriminatory propaganda against each other, and to take all possible legal and administrative measures to prevent the dissemination of such propaganda by any organisation or individual present in the territory of either Party

      ARTICLE 12

      COMBATING CRIME AND DRUGS

      The Parties will co-operate in combating crime, with an emphasis on smuggling, and will take all necessary measures to combat and prevent such activities as the production of, as well as the trafficking in illicit drugs, and will bring to trial perpetrators of such acts. In this regard, they take note of the understandings reached between them in the above spheres, in accordance with Annex III and undertake to conclude all relevant agreements not later than 9 months from the date of the exchange of the instruments of ratification of this Treaty.

      ARTICLE 13

        Each party will permit the free movement of nationals and vehicles of the other into and within its territory according to the general rules applicable to nationals and vehicles of other states. Neither party will impose discriminatory taxes or restrictions on the free movement of persons and vehicles from its territory to the territory of the other.

      ARTICLE 14

        Without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 3, each Party recognises the right of the vessels of the other Party to innocent passage through its territorial waters in accordance with the rules of international law.

      ARTICLE 15

        The Parties recognise as applicable to each other the rights, privileges and obligations provided for by the multilateral aviation agreements to which they are both party, particularly by the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation (The Chicago Convention) and the 1944 International Air Services Transit Agreement.

      ARTICLE 16

      POSTS AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

      The Parties take note of the opening between them, in accordance with the Washington Declaration, of direct telephone and facsimile lines. Postal links, the negotiations on which having been concluded, will be activated upon the signature of this Treaty. The Parties further agree that normal wireless and cable communications and television relay services by cable, radio and satellite, will be established between them, in accordance with all relevant international conventions and regulations. The negotiations on these subjects will be concluded not later than 9 months from the exchange of the instruments of ratification of this Treaty.

      ARTICLE 17

      TOURISM

      The Parties affirm their mutual desire to promote co-operation between them in the field of tourism. In order to accomplish this goal, the Parties -- taking note of the understandings reached between them concerning tourism -- agree to negotiate, as soon as possible, and to conclude not later than three months from the exchange of the instruments of ratification of this Treaty, an agreement to facilitate and encourage mutual tourism and tourism from third countries.

      ARTICLE 18

      ENVIRONMENT

      The Parties will co-operate in matters relating to the environment, a sphere to which they attach great importance, including conservation of nature and prevention of pollution, as set forth in Annex IV . They will negotiate an agreement on the above, to be concluded not later than 6 months from the exchange of the instruments of ratification of this Treaty.

      ARTICLE 19

        The Parties will co-operate in the development of energy resources, including the development of energy-related projects such as the utilisation of solar energy.

      ARTICLE 20

      RIFT VALLEY DEVELOPMENT

      The Parties attach great importance to the integrated development of the Jordan Rift Valley area, including joint projects in the economic, environmental, energy-related and tourism fields. Taking note of the Terms of Reference developed in the framework of the Trilateral Israel-Jordan-US Economic Committee towards the Jordan Rift Valley Development Master Plan, they will vigorously continue their efforts towards the completion of planning and towards implementation.

      ARTICLE 21

      HEALTH

      The Parties will co-operate in the area of health and shall negotiate with a view to the conclusion of an agreement within 9 months of the exchange of instruments of ratification of this Treaty.

      ARTICLE 22

      AGRICULTURE

      The Parties will co-operate in the areas of agriculture, including veterinary services, plant protection, biotechnology and marketing, and shall negotiate with a view to the conclusion of an agreement within 6 months from the date of the exchange of instruments of ratification of this Treaty.

      ARTICLE 23

      AQABA AND EILAT

      The Parties agree to enter into negotiations, as soon as possible, and not later than one month from the exchange of the instruments of ratification of this Treaty, on arrangements that would enable the joint development of the towns of Aqaba and Eilat with regard to such matters, inter alia, as joint tourism development, joint customs, free trade zone, co-operation in aviation, prevention of pollution, maritime matters, police, customs and health co-operation. The Parties will conclude all relevant agreements within 9 months from the exchange of instruments of ratification of the Treaty.

      ARTICLE 24

      CLAIMS

      The Parties agree to establish a claims commission for the mutual settlement of all financial claims.

      ARTICLE 25

        This Treaty does not affect and shall not be interpreted as affecting, in any way, the rights and obligations of the Parties under the Charter of the United Nations.

      ARTICLE 26

      LEGISLATION

      Within 3 months of the exchange of ratifications of this Treaty the Parties undertake to enact any legislation necessary in order to implement the Treaty, and to terminate any international commitments and to repeal any legislation that is inconsistent with the Treaty.

      ARTICLE 27

        This Treaty shall be ratified by both Parties in conformity with their respective national procedures. It shall enter into force on the exchange of instruments of ratification.

      ARTICLE 28

      INTERIM MEASURES

      The Parties will apply, in certain spheres, to be agreed upon, interim measures pending the conclusion of the relevant agreements in accordance with this Treaty, as stipulated in Annex V.

      ARTICLE 29

        Disputes arising out of the application or interpretation of this Treaty shall be resolved by negotiations.

      ARTICLE 30

      REGISTRATION

      This Treaty shall be transmitted to the Secretary General of the United Nations for registration in accordance with the provisions of Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations.

      Done at the Arava/Araba Crossing Point this day Heshvan 21st, 5775, Jumada Al-Ula 21st, 1415 which corresponds to 26th October, 1994 in the Hebrew, English and Arabic languages, all texts being equally authentic. In case of divergence of interpretation the English text shall prevail.


      ISRAEL AND JORDAN SIGN DRAFT OF WIDE-RANGING PEACE TREATY

      Israel and Jordan initialed a draft peace treaty today clearing the way for regular diplomatic relations, enhanced commerce and easier travel after 46 years of veering between warfare and uneasy coexistence.

      The agreement, reached after torturous overnight negotiations, was the first major addition to the patchwork of Middle East peace since the agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization last year. It was also the first peace agreement between Israel and an Arab nation since the treaty with Egypt in 1979.

      While for more than 20 years Jordan and Israel had not fought openly and had sometimes seemed secretly cooperating neighbors, the agreement today maintained the momentum of peace efforts and shifted the diplomatic focus to Syria as the next neighboring country that could end its state of war with Israel.

      The White House announced tonight that President Clinton had accepted an invitation to attend the formal signing ceremony for the treaty, scheduled for Oct. 26 in the border area between Eilat and Aqaba. King Hussein of Jordan and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel formally ended the state of war between Jordan and Israel in a ceremony at the White House in July, and Mr. Clinton praised the treaty today as "an extraordinary achievement."

      Neither Israel nor Jordan released details of the treaty, and officials said annexes to a final agreement still had to be worked out.

      But the Israeli radio reported that the deal involved an agreement by Israel to divert some 50 million cubic meters of water, or 13.2 billion gallons, a year to arid Jordan, where, as elsewhere in this region, water is almost as valuable a commodity as oil in maintaining economic viability. In addition, the two sides reportedly agreed to build dams on the Yarmuk and Jordan rivers later stage to increase water supplies to both countries.

      The Israeli radio said the two sides had also reached a complex deal that would allow Jordan to reassert its sovereignty on a pocket of Israeli-occupied territory of 135 square miles along its southern border, but to lease about 11 square miles of it back to Israel.

      The unusual arrangement could become a precedent for Israel's negotiations with Syria over the far more extensive and explosive issue of control over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, the central point of contention between Israel and President Hafez el-Assad of Syria.

      In Amman today, though, both Israeli and Jordanian leaders -- beaming at each other from adjacent podiums -- seemed intent on underscoring the virtues of their agreement and the warmth of a relationship that is widely thought to have grown in secrecy when the two sides were not officially speaking.

      "No one lost, no one won, we all won," Mr. Rabin said.

      King Hussein said, "Between us, hopefully, it's a fresh beginning, a fresh start." The two leaders spoke at the ceremony in the Royal Guest Palace, where the treaty was initialed by Mr. Rabin and his Jordanian counterpart, Abdul-Salam al-Majali, with much mutual praise by the King and Mr. Rabin.

      Israel's Foreign Minister, Shimon Peres, later surprised many Jordanians by embracing the King and kissing him on both cheeks, a traditional form of Arab greeting.

      Negotiated efforts to sign a peace treaty have been carried out steadily since Jordan signed its agreement with Israel in July to end a formal state of war that had endured for 46 years.

      Until Sunday, however, there had been little indication that the negotiations, which started with the Madrid peace conference in 1991 after the end of the Persian Gulf war, were close to overcoming unresolved differences over water, territory and security issues.

      Then, on Sunday night, Israelis learned that Mr. Rabin and Mr. Peres had flown to Amman, the Jordanian capital, after a week dominated in Israel by the abduction and killing of an Israeli soldier by Islamic militants.

      The episode seemed to highlight the pressures on Israel's agreement with the P.L.O. from Palestinian militants. The urgency of the visit to Amman left the impression that Mr. Rabin was desperate to maintain the momentum of his overtures to Jordan as his agreement with the P.L.O. seemed to be running into challenges.

      The initialing, however, did not represent the end of negotiations.

      On Tuesday, officials from the two sides are to begin detailed talks on annexes to the treaty in the Jordanian Red Sea port of Aqaba. After that, the agreement needs approval by both Parliaments, which is regarded as a formality.

      Of the outstanding issues, water was the most far-reaching.

      According to Jordanian accounts, both Israel and Syria have progressively restricted Jordan's access to the water of the Jordan and Yarmuk Rivers, so that of an annual allotment of 477 million cubic meters a year foreseen in American-sponsored proposals in 1953, Jordan is now receiving none from the Jordan River and only about 100 million from the Yarmuk.

      Israel's reported agreement to divert 50 million cubic meters a year to Jordan, presumably from the Sea of Galilee area, is thus a major economic boost for a country whose underground water supples are rapidly becoming exhausted. Jordan already rations water.

      For Israel, the agreement involved a concession because it has long argued that there is too little water in the region to be shared, and that the only way to overcome the shortage in the long term is to tap new water sources.

      The agreement on territory was less dramatic, though it seemed a novel approach to what has long been the central problem of the Middle East.

      "Israel will return all occupied Jordanian territories with minor border ratifications carried out on a reciprocal basis," Prime Minister Majali said. The territorial arrangement does not affect the Israeli-occupied West Bank, once ruled by Jordan, because King Hussein relinquished legislative and administrative links to the territory in favor of the P.L.O. in 1988.

      Jordan and Israel said they had agreed that the international boundary between their countries should follow, with small modifications, a British demarcation line between Jordan and British-mandated Palestine drawn up in 1922.

      The Israeli radio said that Jordan had won back all the territory it had demanded, but that some would be "leased to Israel due to its importance" to farmers. Israeli officials said the amount was no more than about 11.5 square miles.

      The agreement did not, however, please everyone.

      Jordan's Islamic fundamentalists, following the example of those in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, vowed to oppose the agreement, saying it was against "everything Muslims and Arabs stand for and believe in." The Islamic opposition controls 16 of the 80 seats in the lower house of the Jordanian Parliament and cannot alone block its ratification.

      In Israel, Likud opposition officials questioned the haste with which the agreement had been reached. "Always there are concerns, especially when I see the hurry," said former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir.

      A further source of opposition could be the P.L.O., which has historically vied with King Hussein to represent Palestinians and, in recent years, has competed with Jordan to secure advantage from peace efforts with Israel. Clinton Hails Peace Accord

      WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 (Special to The New York Times) -- President Clinton hailed the peace accord between Israel and Jordan today, and the White House said Mr. Clinton would fly to the Middle East next week to witness a signing ceremony on the two countries' border.

      The journey will require Mr. Clinton to cancel or reschedule several appearances intended to shore up his party's prospects for the midterm elections. But aides to the President said he had concluded that his attendance would send a strong message about the importance of the peace effort to the United States, and some of them also suggested that it would call Americans' attention to a foreign policy success.

      Before flying from Washington to New Mexico for a daylong trip, , Mr. Clinton offered effusive praise to Prime Minister Rabin and King Hussein. "The United States has stood by them and worked with them, and we will stand by them every step of the way," the President said.

      Aboard Air Force One, Mr. Clinton then took a long-distance telephone call from the two leaders, who invited him to attend the signing of the accord. A senior Administration official said the President had decided to accept by the time he climbed back aboard his plane for the trip back to Washington tonight.

      The decision, which officials said followed a sharp debate among his advisers, means that Mr. Clinton will interrupt a heavy schedule of campaigning for Democratic candidates to fly to Israel, Jordan and perhaps also to Kuwait, where he would visit American soldiers.


      Trusted partners

      The Rabin-Hussein relationship was crucial to the success of the negotiations. Both trusted the other. Hussein saw Rabin as a military man who had the security issues under his command. He was convinced that he had a unique opportunity to get a peace treaty and Rabin was central to the opening.

      Jordan’s King Hussein and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin talk on the shore of the Sea of Galilee in Tzemach November 10, after exchanging ratified copies of the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty. Photo credit: Reuters.

      The king also saw the negotiation process as almost more of a religious experience than a diplomatic solution to the passions of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

      The king also saw the negotiation process as almost more of a religious experience than a diplomatic solution to the passions of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He spoke movingly of restoring peace between the children of Abraham. He wanted a warm peace, not the cold peace between Egypt and Israel.

      Jerusalem was also a core issue for the Hashemite family. Despite losing physical control of East Jerusalem in 1967, the king had retained influence in the Muslim institutions that administered the holy sites in the city. The preservation of Jordan’s role in the administration of the third holiest city of Islam was a very high priority of Hussein then, and still is for his son King Abdullah today. In another secret meeting in May 1994, in the king’s home in London, Rabin assured the king that Israel would abide by the Hashemite link to the city. It would be explicitly mentioned in the treaty’s article 9. It was the crucial breakthrough.


      President Trump declared that there would be “peace in the Middle East” after he facilitated the official signing of two historic peace deals between Israel and two other nations on Tuesday. The signing of The Abraham Accords, which occurred on the White House South Lawn, ushered in the formal agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, and Israel and Bahrain to establish diplomatic relations.

      “We’re here to change the course of history,” Trump said. “After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East.”

      “We’re here to change the course of history,” declared Pres Trump, speaking from the first floor balcony of the WH overlooking the South Lawn signing ceremony. Said these are the first two such peace agreements in a quarter century and there’ll be more to come. pic.twitter.com/Ug7XLqhTZR

      &mdash Mark Knoller (@markknoller) September 15, 2020

      After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East. Congratulations to the people of Israel, the people of the United Arab Emirates, and the people of the Kingdom of Bahrain. God Bless You All! pic.twitter.com/gpeqFDtr0S

      &mdash Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2020

      Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and foreign ministers from the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain signed the official documents decreeing the normalization of relations between the nations.

      Pres Trump, PM of Israel, and the Foreign Ministers of Bahrain and the UAE, sign documents for normalization of relations, the first between Israel and two Arab states in a quarter century. pic.twitter.com/ZpQKzQygna

      &mdash Mark Knoller (@markknoller) September 15, 2020

      Leaders end the signing ceremony waving to invited guests on the South Lawn from the WH balcony. pic.twitter.com/gdeZGKfdHS

      &mdash Mark Knoller (@markknoller) September 15, 2020

      According to the president, the nations will “establish embassies, exchange ambassadors, and begin to work together as partners.”

      “They’re going to work together. They are friends,” Trump said. “There will be other countries very, very soon that will follow these great leaders.”

      Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain will establish embassies, exchange ambassadors, and begin to work together as partners.

      "They are friends." pic.twitter.com/abXBd9tGl6

      &mdash The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 15, 2020

      Under the peace deals, the nations will be establishing diplomatic relations and different policies to ensure freer travel and religion in the regions.

      “Thanks to the great courage of the leaders of these three countries, we take a major stride toward a future in which people of all faiths and backgrounds live together in peace and prosperity,” Trump said.

      Before the ceremony, Netanyahu joined Trump in the Oval Office where he was awarded “a special token of affection,” a key to the White House. Netanyahu thanked Trump saying that he “has a key to the hearts of the people of Isreal. He also praised Trump for assisting in giving the Middle East peace.

      “This is unimaginable a few years ago. But with resolve, determination [and] a fresh look at the way peace is done, this is being achieved,” Netanyahu said, praising the Trump administration for their assistance in brokering the deals.

      PM Netanyahu receives a “Key to the White House” from Pres Trump. He calls it “a special token of affection” for Netanyahu, who responded by telling Trump he has “a key to the hearts of the people of Israel,” for all he’s done. pic.twitter.com/W20rxxaBOw

      &mdash Mark Knoller (@markknoller) September 15, 2020

      Trump also signaled that brokering more peace deals in the Middle East is a priority for him, claiming that Saudi Arabia might be the next.

      Now Pres Trump says he expects 7, 8, or 9 additional countries to agree to normalization of relations with Israel. Just a few hours earlier, he put the number at 5, 6, or 7. Before leaving WH for a Town Hall in Philadelphia, he said he thinks Saudi Arabia will be one of them.

      &mdash Mark Knoller (@markknoller) September 15, 2020

      White House advisor and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner praised the decision that he helped orchestrate on CNN Tuesday evening, saying that none of it would be possible if Trump had stuck to the DC narrative.

      “T he diplomacy I’ve done over the last years, obviously it’s been untraditional. W e’ve taken some criticism for doing it that way, but we’ve kept our cards very close to our vest, and it’s produced results,” he said.

      “A lot of the people who criticize the approach that we took on this deal are the same people who said that if Trump was elected, we’d be in W orld W ar III and quite frankly that hasn’t worked,” Kushner continued.

      Senior Advisor @JaredKushner highlights the effectiveness of President @realDonaldTrump's unconventional diplomacy, which has led to Middle East Peace Deals pic.twitter.com/u9LtRUCM1F

      &mdash Team Trump (Text VOTE to 88022) (@TeamTrump) September 15, 2020

      Others pointed out that this strategy, while far-fetched to some on the Hill, proved to be successful.

      There’s a simple foreign policy lesson here: reward your friends and punish your enemies, because then you’ll have more friends and fewer enemies. Trump understood this intuitively, and had the guts to ignore basically the entire DC foreign policy establishment to pursue it. 9/

      &mdash Noah Pollak (@NoahPollak) September 15, 2020

      Copyright © 2021 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.


      April 3, 1949: Israel and Jordan sign an armistice agreement

      Following Israel’s Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948, the ongoing fighting escalated into full-blown war as armies from the surrounding Arab states launched an attack on the fledgling State of Israel.

      Although Jordan had previously agreed not to attack, it invaded Israel together with Egypt, Syria and Iraq.

      At the end of Israel’s War of Independence, which lasted 10 months, Israel signed armistice agreements with Egypt, Syria and Jordan. The agreement with Jordan established demarcation lines between Israeli and Jordanian forces in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria. This demarcation line, never intended to be a border, became known as the “Green Line.”


      Israel War of Independence: Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement

      Responding to the Security Council resolution of 16 November 1948, calling upon them, as a further provisional measure under Article 40 of the Charter of the United Nations and in order to facilitate the transition from the present truce to permanent peace in Palestine, to negotiate an armistice

      Having decided to enter into negotiations under United Nations chairmanship concerning the implementation of the Security Council resolution of 16 November 1948 and having appointed representatives empowered to negotiate and conclude an Armistice Agreement

      The undersigned representatives of their respective Governments, having exchanged their full powers found to be in good and proper form, have agreed upon the following provisions:

      With a view to promoting the return of permanent peace in Palestine and in recognition of the importance in this regard of mutual assurances concerning the future military operations of the Parties, the following principles, which shall be fully observed by both Parties during the armistice, are hereby affirmed:

      1. The injunction of the Security Council against resort to military force in the settlement of the Palestine question shall henceforth be scrupulously respected by both Parties

      2. No aggressive action by the armed forces - land, sea, or air - of either Party shall be undertaken, planned, or threatened against the people or the armed forces of the other it being understood that the use of the term planned in this context has no bearing on normal staff planning as generally practised in military organisations

      3. The right of each Party to its security and freedom from fear of attack by the armed forces of the other shall be fully respected

      4. The establishment of an armistice between the armed forces of the two Parties is accepted as an indispensable step toward the liquidation of armed conflict and the restoration of peace in Palestine.

      With a specific view to the implementation of the resolution of the Security Council of 16 November 1948, the following principles and purposes are affirmed:

      1. The principle that no military or political advantage should be gained under the truce ordered by the Security Council is recognised

      2. It is also recognised that no provision of this Agreement shall in any way prejudice the rights, claims and positions of either Party hereto in the ultimate peaceful settlement of the Palestine question, the provisions of this Agreement being dictated exclusively by military considerations.

      1. In pursuance of the foregoing principles and of the resolution of the Security Council of 16 November 1948, a general armistice between the armed forces of the two Parties - land, sea and air - is hereby established.

      2. No element of the land, sea or air military or para-military forces of either Party, including non-regular forces, shall commit any warlike or hostile act against the military or para-military forces of the other Party, or against civilians in territory under the control of that Party or shall advance beyond or pass over for any purpose whatsoever the Armistice Demarcation Lines set forth in articles V and VI of this Agreement or enter into or pass through the air space of the other Party.

      3. No warlike act or act of hostility shall be conducted from territory controlled by one of the Parties to this Agreement against the other Party.

      1. The lines described in articles V and VI of this Agreement shall be designated as the Armistice Demarcation Lines and are delineated in pursuance of the purpose and intent of the resolution of the Security Council of 16 November 1948.

      2. The basic purpose of the Armistice Demarcation Lines is to delineate the lines beyond which the armed forces of the respective Parties shall not move.

      3. Rules and regulations of the armed forces of the Parties, which prohibit civilians from crossing the fighting lines or entering the area between the lines, shall remain in effect after the signing of this Agreement with application to the Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in articles V and VI.

      1. The Armistice Demarcation Lines for all sectors other than the sector now held by Iraqi forces shall be as delineated on the maps in annex I to this Agreement, and shall be defined as follows:

      (a) In the sector Kh Deir Arab (MR 1510-1574) to the northern terminus of the lines defined in the 30 November 1948 Cease-Fire Agreement for the Jerusalem area, the Armistice Demarcation Lines shall follow the truce lines as certified by the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation

      (b) In the Jerusalem sector, the Armistice Demarcation Lines shall correspond to the lines defined in the 30 November 1948 Cease-Fire Agreement for the Jerusalem area

      (c) In the Hebron-Dead Sea sector, the Armistice Demarcation Line shall be as delineated on map 1 and marked B in annex I to this Agreement

      (d) In the sector from a point on the Dead Sea (MR 1925-0958) to the southernmost tip of Palestine, the Armistice Demarcation Line shall be determined by existing military positions as surveyed in March 1949 by United Nations observers, and shall run from north to south as delineated on map 1 in annex I to this Agreement.

      1. It is agreed that the forces of the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom shall replace the forces of Iraq in the sector now held by the latter forces, the intention of the Government of Iraq in this regard having been communicated to the Acting Mediator in the message of 20 March from the Foreign Minister of Iraq authorising the delegation of the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom to negotiate for the Iraqi forces and stating that those forces would be withdrawn.

      2. The Armistice Demarcation Line for the sector now held by Iraqi forces shall be as delineated on map 1 in annex I to this Agreement and marked A.

      3. The Armistice Demarcation Line provided for in paragraph 2 of this article shall be established in stages as follows, pending which the existing military lines may be maintained:

      (a) In the area west of the road from Baqa to Jaljulia, and thence to the east of Kafr Qasim: within five weeks of the date on which this Armistice Agreement is signed

      (b) In the area of Wadi Ara north of the line from Baqa to Zubeiba: within seven weeks of the date on which this Armistice Agreement is signed

      (c) In all other areas of the Iraqi sector: within fifteen weeks of the date on which this Armistice Agreement is signed.

      4. The Armistice Demarcation Line in the Hebron-Dead Sea sector, referred to in paragraph (c) of article V of this Agreement and marked B on map 1 in annex I, which involves substantial deviation from the existing military lines in favour of the forces of the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom, is designated to offset the modifications of the existing military lilies in the Iraqi sector set forth in paragraph 3 of this article.

      5. In compensation for the road acquired between Tulkarem and Qalqiliya, the Government of Israel agrees to pay to the Government of the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom the cost of constructing twenty kilometres of first-class new road.

      6. Wherever villages may be affected by the establishment of the Armistice Demarcation Line provided for in paragraph 2 of this article, the inhabitants of such villages shall be entitled to maintain, and shall be protected in, their full rights -of residence, property and freedom. In the event any of the inhabitants should decide to leave their villages, they shall be entitled to take with them their livestock and other movable property, and to receive without delay full compensation for the land which they have left. It shall be prohibited for Israeli forces to enter or to be stationed in such villages, in which locally recruited Arab police shall be organised and stationed for internal security purposes.

      7. The Hashemite Jordan Kingdom accepts responsibility for all Iraqi forces in Palestine.

      8. The provisions of this article shall not be interpreted as prejudicing, in any sense, an ultimate political settlement between the Parties to this Agreement.

      9. The Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in articles V and VI of this Agreement are agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto.

      10. Except where otherwise provided, the Armistice Demarcation Lines shall be established, including such withdrawal of forces as may be necessary for this purpose, within ten days from the date on which this Agreement is signed.

      11. The Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in this article and in article V shall be subject to such rectification as may be agreed upon by the Parties to this Agreement, and all such rectifications shall have the same force and effect as if they had been incorporated in full in this General Armistice Agreement.

      1. The military forces of the Parties to this Agreement shall be limited to defensive forces only in the areas extending ten kilometres from each side of the Armistice Demarcation Lines, except where geographical considerations make this impractical, as at the southernmost tip of Palestine and the coastal strip. Defensive forces permissible in each sector shall be as defined in annex II to this Agreement. In the sector now held by Iraqi forces, calculations oil the reduction of forces shall include the number of Iraqi forces in this sector.

      2. Reduction of forces to defensive strength in accordance with the preceding paragraph shall be completed within ten days of the establishment of the Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in this Agreement. In the same way the removal of mines from mined roads and areas evacuated by either Party, and the transmission of plans showing the location of such minefields to the other Party, shall be completed within the same period.

      3. The strength of the forces which may be maintained by the Parties on each side of the Armistice Demarcation Lines shall be subject to periodical review with a view toward further reduction of such forces by mutual agreement of the Parties.

      1. A Special Committee, composed of two representatives of each Party designated by the respective Governments, shall be established for the purpose of formulating agreed plans and arrangements designed to enlarge the scope of this Agreement and to effect improvements in its application.

      2. The Special Committee shall be organised immediately following the coming into effect of this Agreement and shall direct its attention to the formulation of agreed plans and arrangements for such matters as either Party may submit to it, which, in any case, shall include the following, on which agreement in principle already exists: free movement of traffic on vital roads, including the Bethlehem and Latrun-Jerusalem roads resumption of the normal functioning of the cultural and humanitarian institutions on Mount Scopus and free access thereto free access to the Holy Places and cultural institutions and use of the cemetery on The Mount of Olives resumption of operation of the Latrun pumping station provision of electricity for the Old City and resumption of operation of the railroad to Jerusalem.

      3. The Special Committee shall have exclusive competence over such matters as may be referred to it. Agreed plans and arrangements formulated by it may provide for the exercise of supervisory functions by the Mixed Armistice Commission established in article XI.

      Agreements reached between the Parties subsequent to the signing of this Armistice Agreement relating to such matters as further reduction of forces as contemplated in paragraph 3 of article VII, future adjustments of the Armistice Demarcation Lines, and plans and arrangements formulated by the Special Committee established in article VIII, shall have the same force and effect as the provisions of this Agreement and shall be equally binding upon the Parties.

      An exchange of prisoners of war having been effected by special arrangement between the Parties prior to the signing of this Agreement, no further arrangements on this matter are required except that the Mixed Armistice Commission shall undertake to re-examine whether there may be any prisoners of war belonging to either Party which were not included in the previous exchange. In the event that prisoners of war shall be found to exist, the Mixed Armistice Commission shall arrange for all early exchange of such prisoners. The Parties to this Agreement undertake to afford full co-operation to the Mixed Armistice Commission in its discharge of this responsibility.

      1. The execution of the provisions of this Agreement, with the exception of such matters as fall within the exclusive competence of the Special Committee established in article VIII, shall be supervised by a Mixed Armistice Commission composed of five members, of whom each Party to this Agreement shall designate two, and whose Chairman shall be the United Nations Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organisation or a senior officer from the observer personnel of that organisation designated by him following consultation with both Parties to this Agreement.

      2. The Mixed Armistice Commission shall maintain its headquarters at Jerusalem and shall hold its meetings at such places and at such times as it may deem necessary for the effective conduct of its work.

      3. The Mixed Armistice Commission shall be convened in its first meeting by the United Nations Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organisation not later than one week following the signing of this Agreement.

      4. Decisions of the Mixed Armistice Commission, to the extent possible, shall be based on the principle of unanimity. In the absence of unanimity, decisions shall be taken by a majority vote of the members of the Commission present and voting.

      5. The Mixed Armistice Commission shall formulate its own rules of procedure. Meetings shall be held only after due notice to the members by the Chairman. The quorum for its meetings shall be a majority of its members.

      6. The Commission shall be empowered to employ observers, who may be from among the military organisations of the Parties or from the military personnel of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation, or from both, in such numbers as may be considered essential to the performance of its functions. In the event United Nations observers should be so employed, they shall remain under the command of the United Nations Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organisation. Assignments of a general or special nature given to United Nations observers attached to the Mixed Armistice Commission shall be subject to approval by the United Nations Chief of Staff or his designated representative on the Commission, whichever is serving as Chairman.

      7. Claims or complaints presented by either Party relating to the application of this Agreement shall be referred immediately to the Mixed Armistice Commission through its Chairman. The Commission shall take such action on all such claims or complaints by means of its observation and investigation machinery as it may deem appropriate, with a view to equitable and mutually satisfactory settlement.

      8. Where interpretation of the meaning of a particular provision of this Agreement, other than the preamble and articles I and II, is at issue, the Commission's interpretation shall prevail. The Commission, in its discretion and as the need arises, may from time to time recommend to the Parties modifications in the provisions of this Agreement.

      9. The Mixed Armistice Commission shall submit to both Parties reports on its activities as frequently as it may consider necessary. A copy of each such report shall be presented to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for transmission to the appropriate organ or agency of the United Nations.

      10. Members of the Commission and its observers shall be accorded such freedom of movement and access in the area covered by this Agreement as the Commission may determine to be necessary, provided that when such decisions of the Commission are reached by a majority vote United Nations observers only shall be employed.

      11. The expenses of the Commission, other than those relating to United Nations observers, shall be apportioned in equal shares between the two Parties to this Agreement.

      1. The present Agreement is not subject to ratification and shall come into force immediately upon being signed.

      2. This Agreement, having been negotiated and concluded in pursuance of the resolution of the Security Council of 16 November 1948 calling for the establishment of an armistice in order to eliminate the threat to the peace in Palestine and to facilitate the transition from the present truce to permanent peace in Palestine, shall remain in force until a peaceful settlement between the Parties is achieved, except as provided in paragraph 3 of this article.

      3. The Parties to this Agreement may, by mutual consent, revise this Agreement or any of its provisions, or may suspend its application, other than articles I and III, at any time. In the absence of mutual agreement and after this Agreement has been in effect for one year from the date of its signing, either of the Parties may call upon the Secretary-General of the United Nations to convoke a conference of representatives of the two Parties for the purpose of reviewing, revising, or suspending any of the provisions of this Agreement other than articles I and III. Participation in such conference shall be obligatory upon the Parties.

      4. If the conference provided for in paragraph 3 of this article does not result in an agreed solution of a point in dispute, either Party may bring the matter before the Security Council of the United Nations for the relief sought on the grounds that this Agreement has been concluded in pursuance of Security Council action toward the end of achieving peace in Palestine.

      5. This Agreement is signed in quintuplicate, of which one copy shall be retained by each Party, two copies communicated to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for transmission to the Security Council and to the United Nations Conciliation Commission on Palestine, and one copy to the United Nations Acting Mediator on Palestine.

      Done at Rhodes, Island of Rhodes, Greece, on the third of April one thousand nine hundred and forty-nine in the presence of the United Nations Acting Mediator on Palestine and the United Nations Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organisation.

      For and on behalf of the Government of the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom

      Colonel Ahmed Sudki El-Jundi

      Lieutenant-Colonel Mohamed Maayte

      For and on behalf of the Government of Israel

      Lieutenant-Colonel Moshe Dayan

      Maps Delineating Armistice Demarcation Lines

      [These maps follow annex II, and are explained in the note by the Secretariat to article V of the Agreement]

      Definition of Defensive Forces

      1. For the purposes of this Agreement defensive forces shall be defined as follows:

      (a) A standard battalion to consist of not more than 800 officers and other ranks, and to be composed of not more than:

      (i) Four rifle companies with ordinary infantry equipment rifles, LMG's, SMG's, light mortars, anti-tank rifles and PIAT.

      The light mortars shall not be heavier than 2 inch.

      The following number of weapons per battalion shall not be exceeded: 48 LMG's, 16 mortars 2 inch, 8 PIAT's

      (ii) One support company with not more than six MMG's, six mortars not heavier than 3 inch, four anti-tank guns not heavier than six-pounders

      (iii) One headquarters company

      The artillery and anti-aircraft artillery to be allotted to the defensive forces shall consist of the following type of weapons: field guns not heavier than twenty-five pounders, the anti-aircraft guns not heavier than forty millimetres.

      2. The following are excluded from the term "defensive forces":

      Armour, such as tanks of all types, armoured cars, Bren gun carriers, halftracks, armoured vehicles or load carriers, or any other armoured vehicles

      All support arms and units other than those specified in paragraphs I (a) i and ii, and I (b) above

      Service units to be agreed upon.

      In the areas where defensive forces only are permitted airfields, airstrips, landing fields and other installations, and military aircraft shall be employed for defensive and normal supply purposes only.

      11. The defensive forces which may be maintained by each Party in the areas extending ten kilometres from each side of the Armistice Demarcation Lines, as provided in paragraph I of article VI, shall be as follows for the sectors described in article V, paragraph 1:

      1. Sector Kh Deir Arab (MR 1510-1574) to the northern terminus of the lines defined in the 30 November 1948 Cease-Fire Agreement for the Jerusalem area: one battalion each.

      2. Jerusalem sector: two battalions each.

      3. Hebron-Dead Sea sector: one battalion each.

      4. Sector Engeddi to Eylat: three battalions each. In addition, each side will be allowed one squadron of light armoured cars consisting of not more than 13 light armoured cars or half tracks. The weapons permissible on these vehicles will be determined by the Mixed Armistice Commission.

      5. Sector now held by Iraqi forces: five battalions each, and one squadron of armoured cars each.

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      Agreements signed to normalize relations between Israel, UAE and Bahrain

      In a historic signing ceremony hosted by President Donald Trump at the White House, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on Tuesday became the third and fourth Arab nations to move toward establishing full diplomatic relations with Israel.

      "We're here this afternoon to change the course of history," Trump said, speaking from the South Lawn of the White House ahead of the signing, presenting himself as a diplomat and dealmaker weeks ahead of the election. "After decades of division and conflict we mark the dawn of a new Middle East."

      Representatives for Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain similarly heralded the historic nature of the agreements between their countries, making slight nods to the absent Palestinians and using soaring rhetoric to portray the dawn of a new era in the Middle East.

      Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented himself as a peacemaker while speaking about strength, declaring "this day is a pivot of history. It heralds a new dawn of peace.”

      "This peace will eventually expand to include other Arab states and, ultimately, it can end the Arab-Israeli conflict once and for all," Netanyahu said.

      Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi's brother, spoke next -- addressing Netanyahu.

      "Thank you for choosing peace and for halting the annexation of Palestinian territories, a position that reinforces our shared will to achieve better future for generations to come," he said. Israel, though, has only agreed to the suspension of its plans to annex land.

      Bahrain's foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, said "today's agreement is an important first step and it is now incumbent on us to work urgently and actively to bring about the lasting peace and security our people deserve."

      The four men then signed copies of several documents: one between Israel and the UAE described by an announcer as "a treaty of peace, diplomatic relations, and full normalization,” another between Israel and Bahrain described as a "declaration of peace," and a third that all four signed described as the "Abraham Accords," a name used by the White House in reference to the patriarch of Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

      Trump's signatures on the bilateral agreements amounted to a "witness or observer" signature, a senior administration official said Thursday. The White House has not released the texts of any of the documents or described what exactly was in the one called the "Abraham Accords."

      For all the significance of Tuesday’s signings, former Middle East peace negotiator Dennis Ross said they are more "symbolic" than substantive, noting that the parties did not sign "full-fledged peace treat[ies]” and that many of the substantive details of the agreements still have to be negotiated.

      Ross further cautioned against an "apples-to-oranges” comparison in equating Tuesday’s deals with Israel's two prior historic agreements normalizing relations with Jordan and Egypt, which he said were much more difficult to achieve.

      "Those were countries that fought wars with Israel. These are not countries that have fought wars with Israel, these are countries that don't have a common border with Israel and have never taken part in past conflicts," Ross, who served as a senior adviser to former President Barack Obama said.

      Speaking from the Oval Office ahead of the signing ceremony, Trump claimed that the US is "very far down the road” in closing similar deals with an additional five or six other countries.

      "Many of them and they’re going to be coming along,” Trump said. He said some will come along "before the election perhaps, but a lot of them after.”

      Tuesday’s signing comes just a little over a month since the president announced that the U.S. had helped to strike a deal between Israel and UAE last month, and Bahrain followed suit last week.

      Coming fewer than two months before Election Day, the timing of the agreements was politically opportune for Trump as he looks to showcase a foreign policy achievement as he seeks a second term in the White House.

      Jon Alterman, the director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that the agreements are the culmination of years of patient diplomacy that date back to the Obama administration but that the Emirates have been in the "driver’s seat” in closing a deal at a moment when both the US and Israel wanted a political victory.

      "The administration really wants the deal, because they're concerned about politics. The Israelis really want the deal. So give them what they really want to get what you want and then continue to negotiate to get more," Alterman said.

      While the deals represent a win for the parties involved, it comes as a loss to the Palestinians, who view the deal by Arab nations to engage with Israel as a betrayal to the cause of Palestinian statehood.

      "It sends a message to the Palestinians that other countries in the region, they're going to put their own national interests first, not that they don't care about Palestinians, but they're gonna put their national interests first," Ross said.

      While Trump hopes of achieving what he has coined the "ultimate deal" in the form of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement remains a distant prospect, Kushner went so far as to contend that the new agreement "signals the end, we believe, of the Arab-Israeli conflict" in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Tuesday.

      "There's still a lot more work to do but for 70 years in the region you've had the Arab countries not wanting to interact with Israel in a substantive way," Kushner said, making the case that the engagement represents a new chance for peace in the region.

      "It is not the end of the conflict between the Israeli and the Palestinians. The Palestinians are calling this a betrayal. Are their hopes for a state now dead?" ABC News' Chief anchor George Stephanopoulos followed up.

      "No, look, I think there is a lot of posture. In deals, everyone is at no until there's a yes. I think what you're seeing is tremendous movement. They were caught by surprise by this. The Arab countries want to focus on their citizens and want them to have better lives and are tired of waiting for the Palestinians to not be practical and make a deal. President Trump is a dealmaker," Kushner responded. "At some point when they decide they want to live better lives I believe they'll engage."

      This report was featured in the Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, episode of “Start Here,” ABC News’ daily news podcast.

      "Start Here" offers a straightforward look at the day's top stories in 20 minutes. Listen for free every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, the ABC News app or wherever you get your podcasts.


      Oslo Accords

      In 1993, with U.S. President Bill Clinton looking on, Rabin and Arafat shook hands on the White House lawn after reaching a deal, known as the Oslo Accords.

      The Oslo Accords did not include a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians but did provide a road map for objectives between the two peoples. In the &ldquoDeclaration of Principles,&rdquo Israel agreed to a gradual withdrawal from Palestinian territories, with the PLO gaining control, as well as recognition of the PLO as the &ldquoPalestinian Authority.&rdquo Issues like Jerusalem were to be discussed at a later point.

      Even without concrete solutions, the Oslo agreements seemed promising. Things were looking up and in 1994, Israel reached its second peace deal with an Arab neighbor when Rabin signed an accord with Jordanian King Hussein.


      Annexation Won’t “Kill” Jordan’s Peace Agreement with Israel

      Will Israeli annexation of the Jordan Valley come at the expense of peace with Jordan? A number of defense and security officials, diplomats, foreign policy wonks, and analysts have fretted that a surge of anger over the move among Jordan’s “majority Palestinian population” might force King Abdullah II’s hand. Relations between the two states have been in a free-fall over the last few years, rocked by repeated confrontations over access to Jerusalem’s Islamic shrines, and two separate incidents in which Israeli security guards shot dead Jordanian citizens. On May 15, 2020, remarks by King Abdullah II lent credence to these concerns when he warned that annexation could provoke a “massive confrontation with Jordan.”

      But how serious are such threats? When protests erupt in Jordan, and the parliament passes motions demanding the treaty be severed, will King Abdullah II bow to their will?

      Underneath the ominous headlines, a well-practiced dance is taking place. Well-publicized snubs and fiery rhetoric signal official outrage, while the parties simultaneously seek denouement. When Israel moves ahead with annexation—whether in its fuller form or the more probable scaled-down version, Jordan will immediately recall its ambassador from Tel Aviv, consider expulsion or closure of the Israeli mission, and maybe, just maybe, give in to popular demands to scuttle the 2016 agreement to import natural gas from Israel.

      But terminate the 1994 Wadi Araba treaty all together? Let me repeat: Not. A. Chance.

      In the abstract, the probable outcome should be self-evident. Unilateral abrogation of a signed peace agreement would be a provocative and costly act. Absent a fundamental change in circumstance mitigating those risks, such as an improvement in the imbalance of power between the former belligerents or alternative alliance options to deter adversaries, states are more likely to maintain the agreement. This is particularly true if a big portion of the document is a text-book non-aggression pact and the last potential border incident was barely a month ago.

      Even before considering the repercussions of abrogating the treaty on foreign assistance to Jordan—not only from the United States, but Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, it should be readily apparent that Jordan’s “limited options” include the few diplomatic and rhetorical tools they can deploy to signal discontent and diffuse public anger whilst maintaining the status quo. This is, after all, how the regime has managed each of the earlier outrage-provoking crises that have erupted over the last 25 years. Nothing in the conditions within the Kingdom or around it have changed sufficiently to warrant such a risk.

      So why do we keep talking about it? Why are premature obituaries to the 1994 Wadi Araba treaty one of the most predictable side-effects to crises in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process?

      There are two reasons. First, the majority of research and commentary on Jordanian-Israeli relations post the culmination of the treaty focus on its failure to “good neighborly relations.” These studies rightly conclude that enduring antipathy to normalization with Israel has prompted the regime to all but abandon clauses in the agreement calling for cross-border cooperation in the economic, environmental, and scientific fields, as well as cultural exchange. However, inaccurately recounting how and why such a frosty peace developed between Israel and Jordan, these studies overestimate the importance of these clauses to the genesis of the treaty and its durability.

      Certainly, there was hope in 1994 that the Wadi Araba Treaty would lead to a more positive peace than its Egyptian-Israeli counterpart. But that was never the primary or even principal objective in seeking its culmination. The main goal of a peace agreement was to put an end to 40 years of belligerency in which Jordan was almost always on the losing end. Ask any Jordanian official who took part in the negotiations at any level. They will give you the same answer every single time—the late King Hussein pursued peace with Israel because he did not want to fight another war (full stop).

      The second reason is more discursive. Fragility, it would seem, is what states make of it. And in the case of the putative fragility of the Jordanian-Israeli peace agreement, they make a whole lot. Evidence of durability notwithstanding, reinforcing the perception of the 1994 Wadi Araba treaty as one protest away from evaporation is an effective means of leverage both Jordanians and Israelis routinely employ to their advantage.

      It’s not by accident that King Abdullah II publicly warned of massive confrontations and the danger of chaos just weeks before a series of teleconferences with key congressional leaders in the United States. The specter of instability along its western border is a standard line in the Jordanian playbook when making the rounds on Capitol Hill. They know it works. Conversely, Israeli officials similarly invoke the fragility of the treaty when arguing against territorial compromise. It even comes up in the annexation debate. If both the treaty and the entire Hashemite monarchy can be wiped away by an angry mob, how can Israel risk ceding control of the Jordan Valley?

      Ironically, the tea leaves suggest that Jordan is winning—or at least losing less precipitously, on this rhetorical round. After weeks of running full bore towards annexation of up to 30 percent of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley, all signs point to a deferred decision and the extension of Israeli sovereignty to a few more settlements around Jerusalem. While these expected adjustments will do little to resuscitate the prospect of a viable Palestinian State, they should serve to make the status quo just a little more tenable for Jordan.


      Watch the video: Palestinian state best way to resolve conflict with Israel: Biden. AFP