Jordan's King Abdullah II on Sunday said he has decided not to renew parts of his country's landmark peace treaty with Israel.
King Abdullah said that the decision was made to protect Jordanian interests and "do whatever is necessary for Jordan & Jordanians", and that the two areas "were at the top of our priorities".
Responding to the announcement, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he meant to "negotiate with Jordan for its extension" adding that "there is no doubt that the entire agreement is important and dear to both our countries".
Jordan's King Abdullah II announced Sunday that parts of a 24-year-old peace treaty with Israel would be revoked.
"Baqoura and Ghumar are Jordanian lands and will remain Jordanian and we will exercise full sovereignty over our territory", the king said, according to a royal court statement.
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Much of the land in Baqura in the northwestern part of the Kingdom and Ghumar in the south is used by Israeli military officers and farmers, some of whom were given private land ownership rights and special travel rights under a 1994 peace treaty between the two countries.
After the king's announcement on Sunday, Jordanians took to social media, calling it a "historic and wise decision".
The original peace agreement stipulates that the 25-year lease could be renewed by both parties after 25 years, but that both sides had the option to abandon the deal, subject to an announcement one year prior to termination, which is set to occur in 2019. "We will open negotiations on the possibility of prolonging the existing agreement".
But the peace treaty with Israel is unpopular and pro-Palestinian sentiment widespread in Jordan.
Jordanian security forces stand on guard as protesters wave Jordanian flags and chant slogans during a demonstration near the Israeli embassy in the capital Amman on July 28, 2017.
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The deal was signed in November 1994 by Abdullah's father, King Hussein, and then-Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Earlier this month Jordan's newly appointed ambassador to Israel, Ghassan Majali, arrived in the country and presented his credentials at the Foreign Ministry, taking a step toward restoring ties between the shaky allies.
They have also been expanding economic ties in the past year including a major deal to export billions of dollars of Israeli gas to the kingdom through a pipeline that crosses their northern borders.
Baqura is a border area of 6 square kilometers (2.4 square miles) in Jordan's northern Irbid province, which is known as the Island of Peace, while Ghamr covers 4 square kilometers in the southern Aqaba province. The deal helped Amman to pave the way for United States economic and military assistance to the country.
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