The quarter-century mark of the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty has passed with little fanfare, as key constituencies in both countries question its core premises. The Trump administration’s policies and peace plan sharpen doubts. Reviving the 1994 deal’s spirit is important for Israel, Jordan and the region.
Strikes over rising fuel prices triggered anti-govt protests country-wide, leading to violent clashes with police; authorities reached deal with protestors mid-month, largely ending contestation.
Growing economic hardship triggered protests that turned violent. Truck drivers 5-9 Dec held strikes, particularly in country’s south, to protest against rise in fuel prices, as diesel cost had nearly doubled since Jan 2022. Protests spread across country as thousands 14-15 Dec took to streets to demand lower prices, notably in southern city of Maan, capital Amman and northern city of Irbid; young demonstrators reportedly set fire to tyres to block highways and attacked public buildings, while anti-riot police fired tear gas as part of clampdown. Notably, as clashes between protesters and anti-riot police 15 Dec erupted in Maan, unknown assailant shot dead police officer. Security forces 19 Dec launched raid on suspected killer’s hideout, killing one alleged militant who allegedly embraced “takfiri radical ideology”, arresting five and seizing stash of weapons; operation left three police officers dead.
Authorities agreed to meet protester’s demands, which largely appeased tensions. Protests largely ended after truck drivers and govt 17 Dec signed agreement in which govt pledged to meet protesters’ demands, although sporadic anti-govt demonstrations in southern provinces continued. Authorities 17 Dec reported that 44 people had been arrested over protests.
As the Syrian regime masses its forces to recapture the country’s south west from the opposition, another humanitarian disaster looms. The U.S., Russia and Jordan, which brokered a south-western ceasefire in 2017, should urgently extend that truce in preparation for a broader settlement.
The season of Arab uprisings has not engulfed Jordan, but nor has it entirely passed the nation by. Pillars of the regime are showing cracks, and it ultimately will have to either undertake sweeping change or experience far-reaching turmoil.
A refugee crisis was feared before the coalition invasion of Iraq in 2003, but it came later than anticipated, and on a greater scale.
The horrifying 9 November 2005 suicide attacks against three hotels in Amman – with a toll of 60 dead and over 100 wounded – drove home two important messages.
This briefing is one of a series of occasional ICG briefing papers and reports that will address the issue of political reform in the Middle East and North Africa. The absence of a credible political life in most parts of the region, while not necessarily bound to produce violent conflict, is intimately connected to a host of questions that affect its longer-term stability:
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