US, Israel, Jordan & Palestinians agree on ambitious water pipeline project
In a sign of growing regional economic cooperation, the US, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority have reached an agreement to build a canal and a water pipeline from the Gulf of Aqaba to the Dead Sea area, US and Israeli sources in Jerusalem said Thursday. The final agreement was said to have been reached on Wednesday during a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump's envoy for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Half a billion dollars have been earmarked for the first stage of the project that is scheduled to begin in 2018.
The pipeline is to supply drinking water produced by a giant water purification facility that will be built in the Jordanian city of Aqaba. The main consumers of the water will be Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli communities in the Arava area including the city of Eilat. The project is also expected to become one of the main sources of fresh water and energy for Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.
Tzachi Hanegbi, Israel's minister for regional economic cooperation, coordinated the preparations for the establishment of the project.