Thursday, January 23, 2014

Background: Precedent for Palestinians of Perpetually Renewing Lease in Israel Jordan Peace Treaty



by Dr. Aaron Lerner


Back on January 1, 2014 in my weekly commentary I mentioned "a perpetually renewing Israeli lease of the areas along the lines of the lease Israel has of certain territory from Jordan under the Israel Jordan peace treaty."

Yesterday MK Ahmed Tibi, the Israeli Arab who served as an advisor to Yasser Arafat, told Razi Barkai in a live interview on IDF Radio that Secretary of State John Kerry proposed to the Palestinians that they lease the Jordan Valley to the U.S. and the U.S. would sublease the area to Israel. Tibi said that the Palestinians rejected the proposal out of hand.

This is an insult to Jordan.

If the sovereign state of Jordan can agree to perpetually lease to Israel the Naharayim/Baqura area [ANNEX I (b)] and the Zofar/Al-Ghamr area  [ANNEX I (c)] then why can't the Palestinians also agree to a similar arrangement?

Here is the critical phrase of the treaty:

"6.    Without prejudice to private rights of ownership of land within the area, this Annex will remain in force for 25 years, and shall be renewed automatically for the same periods, unless one year prior notice of termination is given by either Party, in which case, at the request of either Party, consultations shall be entered into."

#1.  The "Annex" renews - not just the lease. And there is automatic renewal for "periods" - not a "period".   The extra "s" in the word "periods" is because the Annex renews in perpetuity since at the end of each 25 year period the Annex renews automatically and the Annex includes within it the renewal provision!

The following is the full text for ANNEX I (b) -  The Naharayim/Baqura Area. There is the same wording for ANNEX I (c) - The  Zofar/Al-Ghamr Area.

ISRAEL-JORDAN PEACE TREATY ANNEX I (b) The Naharayim/Baqura Area

1.    The two Parties agree that a special regime will apply to the Naharayim/Baqura area ("the area") on a temporary basis, as set out in this Annex. For the purpose of this Annex the area is detailed in Appendix IV.

2.    Recognising that in the area which is under Jordan's sovereignty with Israeli private land ownership rights and property interests ("land owners") in the land comprising the area ("the land") Jordan undertakes:

a.    to grant without charge unimpeded freedom of entry to, exit from land usage and movement within the area to the land-owners and to their invitees or employees and to allow the land-owners freely to dispose of their land in accordance with applicable Jordanian law;

b.    not to apply its customs or immigration legislation to land-owners, their invitees or employees crossing from Israel directly to the area for the purpose of gaining access to the land for agricultural or any agreed purposes;

c.    not to impose discriminatory taxes or charges with regard to the land or activities within the area;

d.    to take all necessary measures to protect and prevent harassment of or harm to any person entering the area under this Annex;

e.    to permit with the minimum of formality, uniformed officers of the Israeli police force access to the area for the purpose of investigating crime or dealing with other incidents solely involving the landowners, their invitees or employees.

3.    Recognising Jordanian sovereignty over the area, Israel undertakes:

a.    not to carry out or allow to be carried out in the area activities prejudicial to the peace or security of Jordan;

b.    not to allow any person entering the area under this Annex (other than the uniformed officers referred to in paragraph 2(e) of this Annex) to carry weapons of any kind in the area; unless authorized by the licensing authorities in Jordan after being processed by the liaison committee referred to in Article 8 of this Annex.

c.    not to allow the dumping of wastes from outside the area into the area.

4.

a.    Subject to this Annex, Jordanian law will apply to this area.

b.    Israeli law applying to the extra territorial activities of Israelis may be applied to Israelis and their activities in the area, and Israel may take measures in the area to enforce such laws.

c.    Having regard to this Annex, Jordan will not apply its criminal laws to activities in the area which involve only Israeli nationals.

5.    In the event of any joint projects to be agreed and developed by the parties in the area the terms of this Annex may be altered for the purpose of the joint project by agreement between the Parties at any time. One of the options to be discussed in the context of the joint projects would be the establishment of a Free- Trade Zone.

6.    Without prejudice to private rights of ownership of land within the area, this Annex will remain in force for 25 years, and shall be renewed automatically for the same periods, unless one year prior notice of termination is given by either Party, in which case, at the request of either Party, consultations shall be entered into.

7.    In addition to the requirement referred to in Article 4 (a) of this Annex, the acquisition of land in the area by persons who are not Israeli citizens shall take place only with the prior approval of Jordan.


Dr. Aaron Lerner

Source: http://www.imra.org.il

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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