Quarterly Updates for (16 Aug 2017 — 15 Nov 2017)

Neither the Israeli nor the Jordanian govt. made any effort to restore diplomatic relations after an Israeli security guard killed 2 Jordanians on 7/23 and the Israeli govt.’s subsequent recall of its embassy staff from Amman. In the wake of the incident, Netanyahu had welcomed the guard back to Israel, embracing him publicly, and the Jordanian authorities vetoed the return of embassy staff to Amman until Israel carried out a full investigation into the killing, as required under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (see JPS 47 [1]). After mos. of stagnant backchannel talks, Israeli authorities reportedly threatened to suspend the 12/9/2013 bilateral water-sharing agreement, which provided for joint construction of a water desalination plant on the Gulf of Aqaba and a pipeline from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea (see JPS 43 [3] and 44 [4]), unless the Jordanian govt. allowed Amb. Einat Schlein and her staff to return (Channel 10 [Israel], 11/13). “The position of the Foreign Ministry and the PM’s office is that we cannot have a situation where on the one hand the Jordanians do not allow us to reopen the embassy and on the other hand we continue to advance projects that are important to them as if nothing had happened,” said an unnamed Israeli official (11/13). In response, Jordan reportedly threatened to proceed on the project alone or to bring Saudi Arabia on as a substitute partner.