After 69 years, the Jordanian Army has once again raised the national flag on the territory of Al Baqoura and Al-Ghamr when the 25-year-old lease for those lands as part of the Jordan-Israel peace agreement expired. In 1950, Israel took 6,000 dunums that make up Al-Baqoura lands and in the 1967 war Israel captured the 4,000 dunums of the lands south of the Dead Sea. Both lands are farming areas with rich aquifer supplies.
A Jordanian Foreign Ministry statement said that Israeli farmers will be given a one-time opportunity to collect their vegetable harvest provided they apply for and receive a visa from the Jordanian Embassy in Tel Aviv.
Anis Kassim, the publisher of the Palestine Yearbook of International Law, told Arab News that the issue of private land that belong to Pinhas Rotenberg, a Zionist Jewish businessman back in 1926, has a bearing on the issue of sovereignty. “If there is farming equipment, the Israelis have a right to take it but at the same time they have to abide by a good will condition to leave the land in good shape, especially since Jordan has never received any renumeration for the stolen water used by farmers before the peace treaty was reached. Rotenberg later sold the 850 dunums to the Jewish Agency. “The lands will be treated like any other foreign investment in Jordan and no Israeli law will apply,” Kassim told Arab News.
Marwan Muasher, a former Jordanian deputy prime minister and foreign minister and the first Jordanian ambassador to Israel, told Arab News that it is only right that Jordan has regained its full sovereignty over the lands. “Extending the lease made no sense. By not supporting a viable two-state solution, Israel is working directly against the interests of Jordan and deserves no special favors from Jordan.” Retired General Marwan Amad told a local media outlet that this is a national day.
“This day is a source of pride after two parts of our body have been returned to Jordan. We are very happy for this return of our lands after all these years.”
Amjad Maslamani, a former Jordanian Member of Parliament, said: “We are proud that the lands of Al-Baqoura and Al-Ghamr have returned and my company Dallas Tours will organize regular visits for Jordanians and foreigners to these locations and the Jordan Valley.”