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Israel gas deal stirs domestic opposition in Jordan

AMMAN (AFP) -- Jordanian plans to buy gas from Israel have aroused fierce opposition in the kingdom at a time of mounting criticism of Israel's policies towards the Palestinians. A majority of members of Jordan's parliament have voted to scrap a deal to buy gas from Israel.
Parliament began debating the proposed gas deal on Tuesday, after 79 lawmakers in the 150-seat house filed a motion calling for it to be scrapped.
"Gas supply is part of national security, so how can we link it to an enemy who does not respect its commitments?" asked Jamal Qamwa, who heads parliament's energy commission.

"We are bound to Israel by a peace treaty, but it does not respect it. ... It is also attacking our people (Palestinians) in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip," he told AFP.

US giant Noble Energy announced in September that Israel would supply Jordan with 1.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas from its Leviathan offshore field over a period of 15 years. Leviathan is majority-owned by three Israeli companies, with 40 percent owned by Noble.

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