Jordan-Israel relations strained after Netanyahu vowed to annex Jordan Valley
Israeli military analyst Amos Harel believes that a recent Jordanian military drill was a “message of anger” toward Israel.
“Which mysterious, unnamed country is threatening Jordan from the west?” Harel said in Haaretz newspaper. “The exercise meshes with the clear anti-Israel rhetoric being heard recently in the Jordanian media.”
The Israeli analyst said Jordanian King Abdullah II is furious with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ever since he declared Israel’s plan to annex the Jordan Valley before the elections in September.
During his electoral campaign, Netanyahu vowed to annex the Jordan Valley, which Israel sees as a vital security asset, if re-elected.
Last month, Jordan retook al-Ghamar and al-Baqura, two pieces of land leased to Israel as part of their 1994 peace agreement. The move was seen as a protest of Netanyahu’s annexation plan.
“Israel has actually received messages to this effect from the [Jordanian] palace: Our anger with you is real,” Harel said.
On Monday, Netanyahu said he discussed with U.S. President Donald Trump the possibility of annexing the Jordan Valley.
“We talked about Iran, but we also talked at length about historic opportunities that stand before us in the coming months — among them are [establishing] the Jordan Valley as the recognized eastern border of the State of Israel, as well as a defense treaty with the United States.
“Things we could only dream of, but now we have the opportunity to realize them,” he said.
There was no official comment from the Israeli government on the Jordanian military exercise.
*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara