Mass Protest in Amman: Thousands Rally Against The Water-Energy Deal 

Published November 27th, 2021 - 07:36 GMT
Mass demonstrators in Amman
Mass 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)

ALBAWABA - About 3,000 protesters took to the streets in downtown Amman Friday according to the Saudi-based Arab News. They are demonstrating against the water-for-energy deal between Jordan-Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Pictures, images and videos of the protests were posted on the social media with many people protesting the deal calling it as humiliation Jordanians would do without. The mass demonstration started in front of the old Al Mosque in the downtown area of the Jordanian capital.

It was organised by the so-called Popular Movement for Change (PMC) that was heralded in response to the so-called  "Declaration of Intent" (DIC) signed last Monday in Dubai  by Jordan, Israel and the UAE.

The PMC is a broad-based popular movement that includes a mix of opposition parties, including Islamic and leftist groups, tribal groupings as well as members of different unions in Jordan according to the Press TV

Among the slogans in the rally, the protesters chanted "No to the agreement of shame," while some carried banners that read "Normalization is treason," the Iranian-based television reported. Other chants and as translated on the social media included:

“why have u accepted the peaceful solution, which has no basis?", it is “eye for an eye,”the “peace treaty (Wadi Arabah) is a scandal,” “getting water and gas from the enemy is a scandal.

"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 according to Press TV. 

As expected there was heavy police presence during the rally in Amman and its reported that protests took place in other Jordanian cities like Zarqa and Irbid against the water-for-energy  projects.

Jordan Ministry of Water has posted the DIC on its website, making it clear that this is only a proposal for a feasibility study to see whether the project can be carried out and it would mean Jordan will receive  200 million cubic meters of water from Israel, in exchange for 600 megawatts of electricity generated by a solar power plant in the Jordanian desert to be powered by a UAE company.

According to Arab News Several Jordanian MPs joined activists, human rights groups and civil society organisations in the Amman protest. They called for the release of 36 Jordanian students detained earlier this week against the signing of the DIC.

MP Khalil Atiyeh told Arab News on Friday that he was “dismayed” the students had not yet been released. He led  led the signing of a petition by 30 MPs to protest the arrests of the students.

“I spoke in parliament about the case calling for their immediate release and was promised that they would be released, but until now they haven’t been freed,” Atiyeh said.

Jamal Jeet, a member of the National Forum for the Defense of Freedom, told Arab News that the governor of Amman had ordered that the detained students should be held in prisons a long way from the capital as a way of punishing them and their families.  

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