A Jordanian man formerly detained in Israel has accused the neighboring country of using him and another prisoner as “bargaining chips” to prevent the loss of two Jordan Valley territories.
Abdul Rahman Miri, a Jordanian citizen of Palestinian descent, was held by the Israeli authorities for months without charge alongside fellow Jordanian Heba al-Labadi.
Their detention was not the only issue causing a diplomatic scuffle between Israel and Jordan over the past months, however.
After months of detention, two Jordanian 🇯🇴 prisoners Hiba al-Labadi and Abdul Rahman Miri were released from Israeli 🇮🇱 prison after a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.⬇ pic.twitter.com/p5n0pRxMb4
— a21middleeastnews (@a21middleeastn1) November 9, 2019
The kingdom announced last year it would not extend a lease to Israel on two pieces of land in the Jordan Valley, ending 25 years of de facto Israeli authority over the Al-Baqura and Al-Ghamar areas.
Despite Jordan announcing its intention a year in advance of the leases’ expiration, Israeli officials and civilians in the valley have reportedly continued to hold out hope that Israeli farmers will continue to be able to live and work on the land.
#Israel releases Jordanian nationals, Hiba al-Labadi and Abdul Rahman Miri, without charges. Labadi and Miri were imprisoned for the past two months without trial.
More: https://t.co/ijpIaH9XWy pic.twitter.com/uXXsfupaCc
— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) November 6, 2019
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting held by the National Committee for Jordanian Detainees and Missing Persons Held in Israeli Prisons on Friday, Miri alleged that the Israeli authorities had attempted to use his and Labadi’s detention as a “bargaining chip” with which to secure the continued lease of al-Baqura and al-Ghamar.
The Wadi Araba peace deal, signed in 1994, restored diplomatic and economic relations between Jordan and Israel. As part of the agreement, the kingdom leased Israel the Jordan Valley farmlands.
RT PalestineChron "Al Baqura and Al Ghamar are back in Jordan, where they belong. https://t.co/YhZke3LXVE via PalestineChron"
— Richard Hardigan (@RichardHardigan) November 8, 2019
The agreement is highly contentious in Jordan, of which a significant number of citizens are of Palestinian descent. Anti-normalization activists in the kingdom have previously called for the cancellation of the Wadi Araba treaty.
Miri and Labadi returned to Jordan on Wednesday after months in detention, where they were allegedly tortured after being accused of links to Hezbollah and Hamas.
In protest of Israeli officials' refusal to release Jordanians Hiba al-Labadi & Abdul Rahman Miri, detained by the criminal zionist regime for several weeks without charges, #Jordan recalled its ambassador for consultations on Tuesday. https://t.co/CfusYOCw8y #apartheid #Israel
— Jinjirrie (@Jinjirrie) October 31, 2019
Their release came a week after Jordan recalled its ambassador to Israel over their detention.
Jordan has said Israeli citizens will be banned from entering Baqura from Sunday onwards.
The kingdom has not yet stated whether Israeli farmers will be allowed to access lands in al-Ghamar.
(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)