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Jordan MPs File ‘Urgent Memo’ to Prohibit Import of Gas from Israel

Jordan MPs File ‘Urgent Memo’ to Prohibit Import of Gas from Israel

Monday, 23 December, 2019 - 08:30
People protest a gas deal between Jordan and Israel. (Reuters file photo)

Jordan’s parliament filed on Sunday an urgent memo, requesting that a law be drafted to ban the import of gas from Israel to the Kingdom.

In the request submitted to the Lower House speaker’s office, a total of 58 deputies demanded that a law be written to prohibit the government from importing gas from Israel.

This request was in response to the government's signing of a gas agreement without referring to the House of Representatives.

A minimum of 10 deputies shall have the right to propose or amend any law under Article 95 of the Constitution which reads: "If the House is of the opinion that the proposal be accepted it shall refer it to the government for drafting in the form of draft law and to submit it to the House either during the same session or at the following session."

Meanwhile, dozens of activists staged a protest in front of parliament, calling on MPs to push for the cancellation of the deal.

The former government of Hani al-Mulki had controversially signed a deal with an American company to import gas from Israel.

In September 2016, Jordan’s National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) signed a 15-year agreement with Noble Energy, a Houston-based company that holds the largest share in the Israeli Leviathan Gas Field, to purchase $10 billion worth of natural gas.

In September, the Constitutional Court ruled that the gas deal does not need parliament’s approval.

In a ruling published in the Official Gazette, it explained that the government is not required to refer the gas deal to parliament as it was signed between two companies, not two states.

In a special session in March on the matter, the House declared its “utter rejection” of the gas deal, requesting that it be “canceled at any cost”.

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