Dr Mike Evans

Israel, Jordan, UAE sign massive energy deal

The Brookings Institute reported Tuesday that Israel, Jordan, and the UAE have signed Israel and Jordan’s biggest energy and water deal since the two nations made peace 27 years ago. 

EcoPeace Middle East, an Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian non-governmental organization behind the deal, focused on desalinated water-energy, has been called a Green Deal for the Middle East. Under the deal, Israel will provide desalinated drinking water for Jordan, which will build a large solar-powered station to generate power for Israel. 

The deal builds on both the 27-year-old peace agreement with Jordan and the historic Abraham Accords, signed in 2020, that involved Israel, Bahrain, and the UAE. Israel and Jordan have already worked together on natural gas deals and a tentative hydro-electric project. However, the latest deal marks a strong move forward between the nations. 

The Brookings report showed how the three countries will benefit one another in the new deal. The UAE’s government-owned firm, Masdar, will build “a large solar power facility in Jordan, which would produce electricity by 2026. All the electricity produced would be sold to Israel for $180 million dollars per year, contributing, modestly, to Israel’s goals for increasing its renewable energy and diversifying its energy sources.

“Masdar, the Emirati company, would split the proceeds with Jordan. In return, Israel has committed to provide desalinated water from its Mediterranean coast, perhaps via a new separate desalination facility, to produce 200 million cubic meters of water for Jordan, in a significant boon to Jordan’s water supply.” 

The new deal will likely have its opponents, particularly in Jordan, where partnerships with Israel have been unpopular among many in the public. If it moves forward, the agreement will mark a bold step in the progress of nations in the Middle East working together. 

The deal is certainly also to benefit Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and a coalition government seeking to build on its promise of unity. Despite setbacks via recent terrorist attacks and ongoing rhetoric over Iran, the progress seen in this deal and others like it show positive moves taking place that Israel and its neighbors can celebrate.