Jordan: Protests against Israeli gas deal with Noble Energy signed in the absence of parliament

Author: International Business Times, Published on: 3 October 2016

“Thousands protest in Amman, Jordan after country signs Israeli gas deal”, 1 October 2016

Thousands of protesters have taken part in a demonstration in the Jordanian capital of Amman after the country signed a new deal to import gas from Israel this week. The country's government, which has a Palestinian-origin population of over 60%, was accused by protesters of signing the deal "behind closed doors" and against the nation's wishes….

The deal was struck between Jordanian National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) and the US-owned Noble Energy, and will supply Jordan with 1.6 trillion cubic feet of gas from the Leviathan gas field in the Mediterranean. Under the $10bn (£7.7bn) agreement, the government said it allowed the country to secure stable energy prices for the next decade and reduce its $530m (£408m) annual budget deficit. However, the deal was criticised for making Jordanians dependent on Israeli gas, restricting them from advocating for the rights of Palestinians or being critical of Israel in any way…

Jordan's parliament voted against a similar gas deal in 2014, but the government declared that it does not need parliamentary approval now because the agreement is between two companies rather than sovereign nations… “The government arranged for this signing while there was no parliament," protester Mohammad Darwish told Gulf News." We won't let them off the hook."

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Related companies: Noble Energy