Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved Jordan's request for extensive medical aid to help it curb the COVID-19 outbreak, Israeli sources revealed, saying this comes as part of Israel’s efforts to ease tensions with the kingdom.
The request was submitted a few weeks ago through the joint Israeli-Jordanian water committee, according to Israel's Haaretz daily.
The aid includes dozens of ventilators, COVID-19 tests, and both medical-grade and regular face masks. Vaccines, however, are not part of the deal.
Netanyahu, the government’s National Security Council, and the Health Ministry approved the request, the newspaper noted.
Israeli-Jordanian ties have witnessed tension, especially after Netanyahu's refusal to provide Amman with additional amounts of water.
Last week, Netanyahu finally yielded to US pressure and agreed to supply Jordan with additional water supplies after several weeks of stalling.
On April 13, Israeli Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz informed his Jordanian counterpart of Netanyahu’s decision to pump 10 million cubic meters of water in the Jordan River, out of a total of 65 million cubic meters that it supplies annually.
The peace agreement between Jordan and Israel, signed in 1994, stipulates that Israel permanently supply Jordan with water pumped from the Sea of Galilee to the Jordan River via the King Abdullah Canal, with an amount of 55 million cubic meters per year.
The defense establishment in Israel strongly disputes Netanyahu’s policies and views Jordan as a critical ally for Israel’s security