Israeli Control of the Jordan Valley Is Good for Jordan

February 3, 2020 | Efraim Inbar
About the author: Efraim Inbar is president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS).

Unlike some previous proposals for the creation of a Palestinian state, the recent U.S. peace plan leaves the easternmost area of the West Bank under Israeli control. This arrangement also strengthens the security of the Kingdom of Jordan, writes Efraim Inbar, which has itself long seen the Palestinian national movement as a threat:

Israel and Jordan share various interests, including support for the American presence in the region, opposing pan-Arab and pan-Islamic movements and, of course, fighting the rise of radical Islam, Sunni or Shiite. Amman also sees eye to eye with Jerusalem on the issue of the Iranian threat. Israel assists Jordan by deterring extremists from threatening it, while Israel, for its part, sees Jordan as a buffer state between it and the extremist entities east of the kingdom.

Jordan is certainly not interested in a neighboring political entity that could develop another Hamas-controlled Gaza. Israeli military control of the Jordan Valley is convenient for Jordan, as it protects Amman from the west.

Since the [two countries] signed a peace agreement in 1994, Jordan’s dependence on Israel has increased. Israel supplies it with increasing quantities of water, far beyond its obligation under the deal, and it also supplies it with natural gas. . . . Moreover, it is hard to imagine that Saudi Arabia, other Persian Gulf countries, or Egypt will go to great lengths to prevent an Israeli annexation of the Jordan Valley.

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