Jordanian lawmakers on Tuesday called for the cancellation of a gas purchase agreement signed with Israel in 2016.
Describing the deal as a form of economic “normalization” with Israel, MPs urged the government to seek alternative sources with which to meet the country’s natural gas needs.
After debating the issue Tuesday, MPs are now expected to vote on whether to request that the government cancel the deal or refer it to Jordan’s constitutional court to decide.
Despite widespread popular opposition to normalizing relations with Israel, Jordan has been extending a pipeline since last year to facilitate the planned import of Israeli natural gas.
In 2016, Noble Energy, a U.S. petroleum firm that operates Israel's Leviathan gas field, signed a deal with Jordan's National Electric Power Company for the sale of three billion cubic meters of gas over a 15-year period.
The deal, the value of which is estimated at some $200 million, will -- if it isn’t cancelled -- go into effect in the first quarter of 2019.
When it was signed, the deal was met with widespread popular disapproval in Jordan, triggering a series of protests in capital Amman.
By Laith al-Junaidi in Amman