Israel Approves Jordan Request for Water
Israel has acceded to a request from Jordan to provide additional water from the Jordan River. Though the request for an additional 3 million cubic meters of water above the annual allocation of 55 million cubic meters was made several weeks ago, it was approved on Monday in what appeared to be designed to coincide with the visit of US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Several Israeli media outlets reported the approval, which was not announced by the Israeli government. It is not known if Austin discussed the issue with the Israeli officials he met during his two-day visit. Israel has in the past approved such requests in a timely fashion.
The request came during a rocky period in the relationship between Israel and Jordan. In March, Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah canceled a visit to the Temple Mount after Israel limited the number of guards who could enter Israel with him. Days later, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was forced to cancel a visit to the United Arab Emirates after Jordan was not willing to approve a flight path for him over Jordan. Israel responded by temporarily closing its airspace to Jordan.