Jordan to lodge protest with Israel over border fires


Amman : Jordan would lodge a protest with Israel over fires that started in Israel last month and spread across the border, damaging a number of citrus farms in the Jordan Valley, the official Petra news agency reported Saturday.

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“Jordan will lodge a protest with the Israeli Foreign Ministry tomorrow,” Petra quoted an official source as saying.

The Israeli ambassador in Amman will also be summoned to explain what happened and “give guarantees that it will not happen in future,” the official said.

Jordanian officials claimed the blaze damaged 100 dunams (25 acres) planted with crops and citrus trees, and spread as high temperatures and strong winds carried the flames from Israel into Jordan.

A joint Jordanian-Israeli panel had said earlier that Israeli authorities must alert Jordan in case such fires take place near the border to enable Jordanian authorities to take precautionary measures, the official said.

“But the Israeli side failed this time to inform Jordan about the fires, which is an unacceptable behaviour and requires certain assurances be given that it will not happen again,” he added.

Over the past three weeks, the Jordanian government has been under pressure from the Islamic-led opposition to raise the issue on the international level in order to put an end to the “Israeli arrogance” with which the Jewish state was lately dealing with Jordan.