After 69 years, Jordan proclaimed full sovereignty over two territories used by Israel. The territories of Al Baqoura and Al-Ghamr had a 25-year-old lease, allowing Israeli farmers to cultivate these lands. However, the lease has expired on Sunday, reported Jordan News Agency.
Under a 1994 peace treaty with Israel, the two border territories were under Jordanian sovereignty but with a lease allowing Israeli farmers to til the land.
During the fourth session of Parliament, King Abdullah announced, “Today, I also announce the expiration of the Peace Treaty annexes on Al Ghamr and Al Baqoura and the imposition of our full sovereignty over every inch of those lands.”
Although the lease could have been extended, King Abdullah announced last year that he planned to end the lease, which was seen as a sign of weakened ties between Jordan and Israel.
As the lease expired on Sunday, gates on the border were closed, and Israeli citizens were prevented from entering, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
A statement by Jordanian Foreign Ministry said that Jordan will continue to respect the ownership rights of Israelis with property in the border areas, and they will be allowed to obtain a visa to enter the Kingdom via the official border.
However, Israeli farmers who used the land without an ownership will be given a one-time opportunity to collect their vegetable harvest provided by a visa process through the Jordanian Embassy in Tel Aviv, the statement added.