Israel–Jordan Treaty of Peace
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (January 2008)|
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|History of Jordan|
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|Israel–Jordan Treaty of Peace|
The Israel–Jordan Treaty of Peace (full name: Treaty of Peace Between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan) (Hebrew: הסכם השלום בין ישראל לירדן; transliterated: Heskem Ha-Shalom beyn Yisra'el Le-Yarden) (Arabic: معاهدة السلام الأردنية الإسرائيلية; transliterated: Mu'ahadat as-Salaam al-'Urdunniyah al-Isra'yliyah, and sometimes referred to as the Wadi Araba Treaty) was signed in 1994. The treaty normalized relations between the two countries and resolved territorial disputes. The conflict had cost roughly US$18.3 billion. The treaty was closely linked with the efforts to create peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The signing ceremony occurred at the southern border crossing of Arabah on October 26, and made Jordan only the second Arab country, after Egypt, to normalize relations with Israel.
Background to negotiations
The relationships between Jewish leaders at the west bank and the Hashemite dynasty in the area was characterized by ambivalence as both parties' prominence grew in the area. Jordan consistently subscribed to an anti-Zionist policy, but made decisions pragmatically. Several factors are cited for this relative pragmatism. Among these are the two countries' geographic proximity, King Hussein's Western orientation, and Jordan's modest territorial aspirations. Nevertheless, a state of war existed between the two countries from 1948 until the treaty was signed.
Memoirists and political analysts have identified a number of "back-channel" and at times clandestine communications between the two countries, often resulting in limited accommodations even during times of war.
After the Fedayeen attacks from Jordan decreased after Israel's victory in the 1956 Suez War, the tense relations between Israel and Jordan following the 1948 Arab-Israeli war eased. In the 1967 Six Day War, Jordan aligned itself with Nasser's Egypt despite an Israeli warning. This resulted in the loss of East Jerusalem and the West Bank to Israel. Besides territorial, it was also an economic loss to the kingdom since much of its economy was based in the West Bank.
In 1970 King Hussein waged the war of Black September against the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), eventually ejecting the organization and thousands of Palestinians, who threatened Hussein's rule. During Black September, Syrian troops invaded the kingdom, threatening to further destabilize the regime. In response, the Israeli Air Force made a series of overflights over the Syrian forces, prompting them to return to Syria.
The war against the PLO factions may have strengthened the connections between Israel and Jordan. Some claim that Mossad warned Hussein about a Palestinian assassination attempt and that Hussein warned Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in a clandestine face-to-face meeting about Egyptian and Syrian threats prior to the 1973 Yom Kippur War, though his warnings were unheeded by the Israeli leadership. Hussein's intention was to stay out of the war.
In 1987 Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Shimon Peres and King Hussein tried to secretly arrange a peace agreement in which Israel would concede the West Bank to Jordan. The two signed an agreement defining a framework for a Middle Eastern peace conference. The proposal was not consummated due to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's objection. The following year Jordan abandoned its claim to the West Bank in favor of a peaceful resolution between Israel and the PLO.
Discussions began in 1994. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres informed King Hussein that after the Oslo Accords with the PLO, Jordan might be "left out of the big game". Hussein consulted with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Syrian President Hafez al-Assad. Mubarak encouraged him, but Assad told him only to "talk" and not sign any accord. U.S. President Bill Clinton pressured Hussein to start peace negotiations and to sign a peace treaty with Israel and promised him that Jordan's debts would be forgiven. The efforts succeeded and Jordan signed a nonbelligerency agreement with Israel. Rabin, Hussein and Clinton signed the Washington Declaration in Washington, DC, on July 25, 1994. The Declaration says that Israel and Jordan ended the official state of enmity and would start negotiations in order to achieve an "end to bloodshed and sorrow" and a just and lasting peace.
In July 1994 the Prime Minister of Jordan Abdelsalam al-Majali declared an "end to the age of wars" and Shimon Peres declared that "the moment of peace has arrived". Rabin and King Hussein held a public meeting with Clinton at the White House.
On October 26, 1994 Jordan and Israel signed the peace treaty in a ceremony held in the Arava valley of Israel, north of Eilat and near the Jordanian border. Prime Minister Rabin and Prime Minister Abdelsalam al-Majali signed the treaty and the President of Israel Ezer Weizman shook hands with King Hussein. Clinton observed, accompanied by US Secretary of State Warren Christopher. Thousands of colorful balloons released into the sky ended the event.
Egypt welcomed the agreement while Syria ignored it. However, the Lebanese militia group Hezbollah resisted the treaty and 20 minutes prior to the ceremony launched mortar and rocket attacks against northern Galilee towns. Israeli residents, who were forced to evacuate the towns for the safety of shelters, took with them transistor radios and mobile TVs in order not to miss the historical moment of signing a second peace treaty with an Arab state.
Following the agreements, Israel and Jordan opened their borders. Several border-crossings were erected, allowing tourists, merchants and workers to travel between the two states. Israeli tourists started to visit Jordan, many to see the sela ha'adom ("Red Rock") of Petra - a stone-carved Nabatean city which had fascinated Israelis during the 50's and the 60's, often luring adventurers to visit it secretly.
1996 Trade treaty
In 1996 the two nations signed a trade treaty. As part of the agreement, Israel assisted in establishing a modern medical center in Amman.
- Borders: The Jordan river became the border. If its flow changed, the border would move accordingly. In addition, Israel gave Jordan 300 square kilometres (120 sq mi), including Peace Island, and leased 2850 dunams (2.85 km²) in the Arabah (Muvlaat Tzofar). The border segment from Ein Gedi to Beit She'an was not marked, because Jordan insisted that the Palestinian Authority should be a partner for setting this border.
- Normalization: The countries fully normalized relations, established diplomatic relations and opened embassies, granted tourists visas, opened air travel and seaports, established a free trade zone and an industrial park in the Arava. The agreement prohibits hostile propaganda.
- Security and Defense: Each country promised respect for the sovereignty and territory of each side, to not enter the other's territory without permission, and to cooperate against terrorism. This included thwarting border attacks, smuggling, preventing any hostile attack against the other and not cooperating with any terrorist organization against the other.
- Jerusalem: Jordan has preference concerning the status of Muslim holy places in the city (as a guardian or keeper of the holy places) in any future peace agreement with the Palestinians.
- Water: Israel agreed to give Jordan 50,000,000 cubic metres (1.8×109 cu ft) of water each year and for Jordan to own 75% of the water from the Yarmouk River. Both countries could develop other water resources and reservoirs and agreed to help each other survive droughts. Israel also agreed to help Jordan use desalination technology in order to find additional water.
- Palestinian refugees: Israel and Jordan agreed to cooperate to help the refugees, including a four-way committee (Israel, Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinians) to try to work towards solutions.
The treaty consists of a preamble, thirty articles, five annexes, and agreed minutes.
Preamble of the treaty: Desire for peace
Israel and Jordan note and agree to honor the Washington Declaration, signed July 25, 1994, and based on U.N. Security Council Resolution in all respects, they declared the termination of the state of belligerency between them and established peace between them in accordance with the treaty.
Articles of the treaty
The following is a synopsis of the treaty's thirty articles:
Article 1: Peace established
Peace is established between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Article 2: Mutual recognition
Recognise and respect each other's sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is in harmony with the State of Israel.
Article 3: Borders
Delineate and recognize the international boundary between Israel and Jordan with reference to the boundary definition under the Mandate, without prejudice to the status of any territories that came under Israeli military government control in 1967 (paragraph 2). Peace Island came under Jordanian military control, but Israel maintains administration and civilian presence.
Article 4: Security cooperation
Mutual understanding and co-operation in security-related matters form a significant part of relations. Recognize the achievements of the European Union in developing the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) and commit to the creation, in the Middle East, of a CSCME (Conference on Security and Co-operation in the Middle East). Refrain from the threat or use of force or weapons, conventional, non-conventional or of any other kind, and combat terrorism of all kinds.
Article 5: Diplomatic relations
Establish full diplomatic and consular relations and to exchange resident ambassadors, including normalization of economic and cultural relations.
Article 6: Water resources
Annex II Water Related Matters
Pursuant to Article 6 of the Treaty, Jordan and Israel agreed on the following Articles on water related matters:
Article I: Allocation
Water from the Yarmouk River
A. Summer period - 15 May to 15 October of each year. Israel got 12 million cubic metres and Jordan got the rest of the flow.
B. Winter period - 16 October to 14 May of each year. Israel got 13 million cubic metres and Jordan got the rest of the flow except that Jordan allowed Israel to pump an additional 20 million cubic metres from the Yarmouk. In return during the summer Israel transferred the quantity specified in paragraph 2.a below from the Jordan River.
C. To minimize water waste, Jordan and Israel could use excess flood water that would evidently go unused that is downstream of Adassiya Diversion/point 121.
Water from the Jordan River
A. Summer period - 15 May to 15 October of each year. Israel agreed to transfer 20 million cubic metres from the Jordan River directly upstream from Deganya gates. Jordan agreed to pay operation and maintenance cost of transfers through existing systems (not including capital costs) and to bear the total cost of any new transmission system. A separate protocol regulated this transfer.
B. Winter period - 16 October to 14 May of each year. Jordan was entitled to a minimum average of 20 million cubic metres of the floods in the Jordan River south of the Yarmouk. Unusable excess floods that would otherwise be unused, including pumped storage could be taken.
C. Israel could maintain its uses of Jordan River waters between the Yarmouk and Wadi Yabis/Tirat Zvi. Jordan was entitled to an annual quantity equivalent to that of Israel, provided that Jordan's use did not harm the quantity or quality of Israeli uses. The Joint Water Committee was to document existing uses and prevent such harm.
D. Jordan became entitled to 10 million cubic metres annually of desalinated water from saline springs previously diverted to the Jordan River. Israel agreed to explore the possibility of financing the operation and maintenance cost supplying this desalinated water to Jordan (not including capital cost). Israel agreed to supply Jordan 10 million cubic metres water from the same location as in 2.a above, outside the summer period and during dates Jordan selected, subject to transmission capacity from the treaty's effective date (TED) until the desalination facilities became operational.
Jordan and Israel agreed to jointly develop an additional 50 million cubic metres/year of drinkable water for Jordan. The Joint Water Committee agreed to develop, within one year of the TED, a plan to supply the additional water.
Operation and Maintenance
A. Israel accepted responsibility for operating, supplying and maintaining systems on Israeli territory that supply Jordan with water, allowing Jordan to choose (and compensate) companies/authorities that operate and maintain new systems that serve only Jordan.
B. Israel guaranteed easy access for personnel and equipment to such new systems as further detailed in the agreements to be signed between Israel and the authorities or companies selected by Jordan.
Article II: Storage - The parties agreed to
1. Cooperate to build a diversion/storage dam on the Yarmouk River directly downstream of Adassiya Diversion/point 121.
2. Improve diversion efficiency of Jordanian water into the King Abdullah Canal, and possibly Israel's allocation.
3. Cooperate to build water storage on the Jordan River, along their common boundary, between the Yarmouk River and Wadi Yabis/Tirat Zvi, to implement paragraph 2.b of Article I.
4. Accommodate more floods; Israel could use up to (3) million cubic metres/year of added storage.
5. Optionally agree to create other storage reservoirs.
Article III: Water Quality and Protection - the parties agreed to
1. Protect the Jordan and Yarmouk Rivers, and Araba/Arava groundwater, against pollution, contamination, harm and unauthorized withdrawals of each other's allocations.
2. Jointly monitor the quality of water along their border, via jointly established monitoring stations under the Joint Water Committee.
3. Treat municipal and industrial wastewater to agricultural standards before discharging into the Yarmouk and the Jordan Rivers...
4. ...within three years from the TED.
5. Match the quality of water supplied to the other at any given location to the quality of water from that location consumed by the supplying country.
6. Desalinate saline springs currently diverted to the Jordan River and not dispose of the resulting brine in the Jordan River or its tributaries. Protect water systems that supply water to the other against any pollution, contamination, harm or unauthorized withdrawal.
Article IV: Groundwater in Wadi Araba/Emek Ha'arava - The parties agree that
1. Israel retained the use of wells along with their associated systems newly under Jordanian sovereignty as detailed by 31 December 1994 with Jordan to protect their yields and quality.
2. Jordan would enable the replacement of any failing well, connect it to the Israeli electricity and water systems and treat it as though it was drilled under license from the competent Jordanian authority at the time of its drilling. Israel agreed to supply Jordan with well logs and technical information.
3. Israel could increase the extraction rate from Jordanian wells and systems by up to (10) million cubic metres/year above existing yields, subject to determination by the Joint Water Committee that this undertaking is hydrogeologically feasible and does not harm existing Jordanian uses. Such an increase had to be carried out within five years from the TED.
4. Operation and Maintenance
- 1. Jordan accepted responsibility for operation and maintenance of newly Jordanian wells and systems, and their electricity supply. Israel could select the wells' operators at its own expense.
- 2. Jordan guaranteed easy access of personnel and equipment to the wells and systems for operation and maintenance subject to detailed agreements to be signed between Jordan and the authorities or companies selected by Israel.
Article V: Notification and Agreement
1. Deliberate changes in the Jordan and Yarmouk Rivers require mutual agreement.
2. Each country agreed to six months advance notice of projects likely to change the quality or flow of either river along their common boundary via the Joint Water Committee.
Article VI: Co-operation - The parties agreed to
1. Exchange relevant data on water resources through the Joint Water Committee.
2. Cooperative planning for increasing water supplies and improving efficiency, within the context of bilateral, regional or international cooperation.
Article VII: Joint Water Committee - The parties agree that the committee would
1. Host three members from each country.
2. Follow government-agreed work procedures, meeting frequency and scope, consulting experts and/or advisors as necessary.
3. Could form, as necessary, sub-committees and assign them technical tasks, including a northern sub-committee and a southern sub-committee, for detailed management.
Article 7: Economic cooperation
To promote economic cooperation by removing discriminatory barriers and terminate economic boycotts.
Article 8: Refugees
Discuss the problem together with Egypt and the Palestinians, and the issue of refugees would be discussed multilaterally in conjunction with and contemporaneously with permanent status negotiations pertaining to the territories. Notably, this terminology did not distinguish among ethnic or religious categories suggesting that a solution must address Jewish and Arab displaced persons.
Article 9: Holy places
Guaranteed free access to historically significant places. Israel agreed to respect Jordan's special role in protecting Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem. Israel agreed to give high priority to Jordan's historic role in these shrines during permanent status negotiations. The states also pledged to promote interfaith relations among Judaism, Islam and Christianity, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, tolerance and peace.
Article 10: Culture and science
Establish cultural and scientific exchanges in all fields, and to establish normal cultural relations.
Article 11: Mutual understanding and tolerance
Abstain from propaganda against each other, prevent the dissemination of such propaganda in their own countries, and ensure mutual enjoyment by each other's citizens of due process of law.
Article 12: Drugs and crime
Combat crime, smuggling, trafficking in illicit drugs, and try perpetrators.
Article 13: Roads
Permit free movement of people and vehicles and not impose discriminatory taxes or restrictions. Open and maintain roads and border-crossings, and continue negotiations for a highway to be constructed between Egypt, Israel and Jordan near Eilat.
Article 14: Freedom of the sea
Provide right of passage through territorial waters in accordance with international law including normal access to ports. The Strait of Tiran and the Gulf of Aqaba became international waterways open to all nations.
Article 15: Air travel
Recognize the rights, privileges and obligations provided for by multilateral aviation agreements, particularly the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation (The Chicago Convention) and the 1944 International Air Services Transit Agreement.
Article 16: Communications
Open direct telephone and facsimile lines and postal links.
Article 17: Tourism
Promote cooperation in tourism.
Article 18: Environment
Cooperate on the environment, conservation and prevention of pollution.
Article 19: Energy
Article 20: Rift Valley
Develop the Jordan Rift Valley area, including joint economic, environmental, energy-related and tourism projects.
Article 21: Health
Article 22: Agriculture
Cooperation in agriculture, including veterinary services, plant protection, biotechnology and marketing.
Article 23: Aqaba-Eilat
Jointly develop Aqaba and Eilat, including tourism, customs, a free trade zone, aviation, pollution control, maritime matters, police, customs and health.
Article 24: Claims commission
Establish a claims commission for the mutual settlement of all financial claims.
Article 25: Obligations
No effect on rights and obligations under the United Nations Charter. Agree to fulfil in good faith all obligations and to abolish pejorative references to each other.
Article 26: Legislation
Enact implementing legislation, and terminate any international commitments and to repeal any conflicting legislation.
Article 27: Ratification
Ratify the treaty in conformity with respective national procedures.
Article 28: Interim measures
Implement temporary measures.
Article 29: Dispute resolution
Agree to mutually negotiate resolution to any disputes arising out of the treaty. Resolve unsuccessful negotiations by conciliation or arbitration.
Article 30: Registration with UN
Transmit the treaty to the Secretary General of the United Nations for registration in accordance with the provisions of Article 102 of the United Nations Charter.
Annexes of the treaty
Annex 1: Borders
See: Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty, Annex I, Israel-Jordan International Boundary Delimitation and Demarcation 
Annex 3: Crime and drugs
See: Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty, Annex III, Combatting Crime and Drugs 
Annex 4: Environment
See: Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty, Annex IV, Environment 
Agreed minutes of the treaty
See: Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty, Agreed Minutes 
Alleged treaty violations
In 1997, Mossad agents attempted to poison Khaled Meshaal, the political leader of Hamas who was at the time living in Jordan. As Meshaal lay in critical condition, King Hussein condemned the assassination attempt in the strongest terms as a violation of Jordanian sovereignty and threatened to void the treaty if Meshaal died. Fortunately, international pressure on Israel forced them to hand over the antidote (which had incidentally already been determined and administered by Jordanian doctors treating Meshaal). Meshaal recovered, and the treaty remained intact.
- New York Times: "HUSSEIN SURRENDERS CLAIMS ON WEST BANK TO THE P.L.O.; U.S. PEACE PLAN IN JEOPARDY; Internal Tensions" by JOHN KIFNER, August 1, 1988
- The Washington Declaration Israel - Jordan - The United States July 25th, 1994
- 1994 Year in Review: Treaty between Israel and Jordan
- Susskind, Lawrence; Shafiqul Islam (2012). "Water Diplomacy: Creating Value and Building Trust in Transboundary Water Negotiations". Science & Diplomacy 1 (3).
- "Kill Him Silently". Al Jazeera World. Al Jazeera English. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
- Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu: Jordanian Lawyers Seek Arrest of Two Knesset Legislators Israel National News, January 5, 2010.
Arab-Israeli peace diplomacy and treaties
- Paris Peace Conference, 1919
- Faisal-Weizmann Agreement (1919)
- 1949 Armistice Agreements
- Camp David Accords (1978)
- Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty (1979)
- Madrid Conference of 1991
- Oslo Accords (1993)
- Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace (1994)
- Camp David 2000 Summit
- International law and the Arab-Israeli conflict
- List of Middle East peace proposals
- Peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
- Projects working for peace among Israelis and Arabs
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Israel–Jordan Treaty of Peace|
- Text of the Treaty, at the site of King Hussein of Jordan
- Text of the Treaty, at the site of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- The Washington Declaration, at the site of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Dean Peter Krogh Examines Prospects for Peace from the Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archives