March 5, 2024 | Flash Brief

Jordan Asks Israel to Extend Water-for-Energy Deal

March 5, 2024 | Flash Brief

Jordan Asks Israel to Extend Water-for-Energy Deal

Latest Developments

Jordan asked Israel on March 3 to extend a water-for-energy deal by an additional year that the two countries signed in 2021. Brokered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the agreement envisioned Israel doubling its freshwater exports to Jordan in exchange for energy from a UAE-sponsored solar farm in the Hashemite Kingdom. The project was due to formally launch at the United Nations COP28 climate conference in Dubai in December 2023. However, relations between Jerusalem and Amman deteriorated after Israel launched its counteroffensive against Hamas in Gaza in October. To get the water-for-energy deal back on track, Jerusalem reportedly asked Amman to tone down its anti-Israel invective and return its ambassador to Tel Aviv, whom Amman recalled on November 1 in protest “of the raging Israeli war on Gaza.”

Expert Analysis

“From harboring an FBI most-wanted terrorist to inciting violence against Israel, Jordan has a commitment to peace that is highly questionable. Amman seems to think it can trash Israel by day and then extract benefits from Israel by night — but that’s not a workable framework for normalized relations.” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

“Jordan has seemingly forgotten the valuable advantages of its relationship with Israel. Downplaying the terrorist attacks of October 7 and promoting Hamas go against the principles of a peaceful partnership. Now is the time for Israel to use its freshwater exports to Jordan as leverage for a marked reduction in the hostile attitude directed towards the Jewish state.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Israel and Jordan’s Cold Peace

Despite its decades-old peace treaty with Israel, Jordan has maintained a cold relationship with the Jewish state. Its official rhetoric about Israel has grown increasingly negative, if not vitriolic. During the May 2021 Israel-Hamas war, Jordan effectively sided with Hamas by echoing the terrorist group’s talking points that wrongly blamed Israeli security forces on the Temple Mount for sparking the conflict. In a 2022 speech to the United Nations, King Abdullah also falsely accused Israelis of threatening Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.

Jordan’s Response to October 7

Jordan’s King Abdullah told members of parliament on October 11 that Jordan’s “compass will always point to Palestine, with Jerusalem in its heart.” On October 21, Abdullah accused Israel of committing “cruel and unconscionable” acts in Gaza and said that Israel’s counteroffensive against Hamas was a “war crime.” Abdullah’s wife, Queen Rania, falsely claimed on October 25 that there is no verifiable proof that Hamas killed children on October 7. She said that Israeli claims about protecting Gazan civilians are “an insult to one’s intelligence.”

Israel, Jordan Move Ahead on Water-for-Electricity Deal,” FDD Flash Brief

Egypt and Jordan Condemn Israeli Response to Hamas Massacre,” FDD Flash Brief

Biden to Host King of Jordan at White House,” FDD Flash Brief

Neither Here Nor There: Jordan and the Abraham Accords,” by Jonathan Schanzer


Arab Politics Israel Israel at War Jordan