PRESS STATEMENT: Protest at Jordanian Embassy in South Africa calling for end to Israeli-Jordan Gas Deal

The human rights and Palestine solidarity organization BDS South Africa held a protest picket today at the Jordanian Embassy in South Africa calling on the Jordanian Government to cancel its intention to sign a gas trade deal with Israel.
In partnership with our BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel) comrades in Jordan and other BDS chapters around the world (for example in London), BDS South Africa participated in a symbolic picket protest today (Friday 20 February) with a larger second protest expected to take place again next Friday the 27th of February 2015 at the Jordanian Embassy. Today's picket in Pretoria formed part of a global day of protests all calling on the Jordanian Government to suspend the gas trade agreement with Israel. Similar protests and pickets took place in London, Amman and elsewhere.

In September 2014, the Jordanian National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) signed a preliminary agreement to import gas from the Leviathan fields, located in the Mediterranean waters off the Coast of Haifa and in the sea area near the Palestinian Gaza Strip. The Leviathan field, considered as the world's largest offshore gas find in the last decade, is operated by US Company Nobel Energy and co-owned by Dele Drilling, Avner Oil Exploration, and Ratio Oil Exploration - all are Israeli companies (click here for background).
The proposed gas deal between the Jordanian Government and Israeli companies comes in the aftermath of Israel’s atrocious attack on Gaza which killed over 2,100 Palestinians (including more than 500 children). In addition to fierce opposition from Palestinians to this Israeli-Jordanian deal, the vast majority of the Jordanian public also refuses it. In December 2014 the Jordanian Parliament voted overwhelmingly against the deal and demanded the government to seek alternative sources (click here for info).

Since September 2014, BDS Jordan (our partners based in Amman in Jordan) have been working with various groups and organisations in Jordan to raise awareness and mobilise people against the Israeli gas deal. Prior to the Jordanian parliamentary session that voted against the Israeli Gas deal, a coalition of professional associations handed a petition signed by thousands of Jordanians to the Jordanian Prime Minister also demanding the cancellation of the Israeli gas deal.

As communicated to us by our Jordanian counterparts, any gas deal with Israel will make Jordan dependent on Israel for its energy needs, and will grant political and economic leverage over Jordan and the Palestinian territories to Israel, depriving Jordanians - of much independence. Moreover, Jordan will be paying for stolen natural resources, and the royalties and taxes Israel will collect from the sales proceeds will further fund the Israeli system of occupation, apartheid and exploitation of the Palestinian people and their resources. The proposed Israeli gas deal is priced at $15 billion, of which $8.4 billion will go directly to the Israeli government - a government guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity and apartheid.

BDS South Africa organised an initial symbolic protest today with a larger one expected on 27th of February 2015 in solidarity with our Palestinian and Jordianian comrades calling on the Jordanian Government to not sign the Israeli Gas Deal. We trust that the Jordanian Government will heed the call made by the Jordanian people and take the correct decision to not sign any gas deal with Israel.

- Click here for Guardian Newspaper article: "Israel's Gaza assault is to control Palestinian gas" (July 2014).
- Click here for Global Research article: "Israel Steals Gaza’s Offshore Natural Gas: $15 Billion Deal with Jordan" (September 2014)
- Click here for a Middle East Eye article: "Jordanian Parliament rejects buying Israeli Gas" (December 2014)
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