Jordanians urged to blackout to protest Israeli gas imports

Pull the plug: Activists urge Jordanians to start 'blackout' to protest Israeli gas imports
2 min read
02 June, 2021
Jordanian activists are calling on citizens to switch off their lights for one hour at 10pm this Saturday to protest Jordan's deal to import gas from Israel.
Protests in support of Palestinians take place regularly in Jordan [Anadolu[-file photo]]

Jordanian activists have launched a campaign to get citizens to switch off electricity supplies at home for one hour to protest the import of Israeli gas.

Using the hashtag #pull_theplug, activists called on Jordanians to join a blackout from 10pm to 11pm this Saturday to send a message of discontent at the Israeli gas deal.

The act of collective resistance follows the latest round of Israeli violence against Palestinians, which peaked during the 11-day bombardment of Gaza.

Although Jordan signed a peace deal with Israel in 1994, tensions between the two countries persist and most Jordanians support the Palestinians in their fight for self-determination.

Signed by Jordan’s state-run National Electricity Company, it pledged 10 billion dollars of Jordanian taxpayer money for Israeli gas from the offshore Leviathan field over a 15 year period.

Jordan’s Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has backed the protest and called on the government to end its gas deal with Israel.

"In support with our brothers in Palestine, and in response to the continued violations of their rights and the occupation and colonisation of Arab lands in Palestine, we urge the government to take real action by annulling their agreement to import gas, which is the largest normalisation agreement with the Zionist entity."

According to a video widely shared by activists the blackout hour could inflict 300,000 Jordanian dinars (£298,675) worth of 'economic damage'. The New Arab has been unable to verify this figure.

"Pulling the plug for one hour for our people [the Palestinians] won't harm you but it will help them," said one social media user.

Jordanians regularly take to the streets to protest the gas deal and peace treaty with Israel, but the government is yet to cede to their demands.

Jordan imports nearly 98 percent of its energy needs, relying on gas, heavy fuel oil and diesel to run its power plants.