Jordan's King Abdullah II on Sunday said he has decided not to renew parts of his country's landmark peace treaty with Israel.
"Al-Baqura and al-Ghamr have always been our top priorities and our decision is to end their extension from the peace agreement based on our keenness to take everything necessary for Jordan and Jordanians", the king tweeted on Sunday.
Following the announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed confidence the leases would be renewed.
Both areas in question are located on the Israel-Jordan border; Israeli farmers were granted private land ownership rights and property interests for a 25-year period under the 1994 peace accord, which settled long-standing land and water disputes between the two countries.
Protests rocked the kingdom in recent days to demand the return of the two territories to Jordan's sovereignty with lawmakers calling on the government not to renew their lease.
Israel's Jerusalem Post newspaper reported that Israel could use the deal that allows planes travelling between Europe and Jordan to fly over Israel as leverage in persuading Jordan to renew the lease. "We will go into negotiations with them on the option of extending the existing agreement", Netanyahu said.
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With the validity of the treaty's annex ending on October 25, debate over the land, the treaty and the government's decision resurfaced after 25 years. He spoke at a memorial for the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who signed the peace deal with Jordan.
Jordan is only one of two Arab countries that signed a peace treaty with Israel - the other being Egypt.
Relations deteriorated previous year after an Israeli guard at the Israeli embassy in Amman shot and killed two Jordanians, saying one, a teenager, had tried to attack him with a screwdriver and that a second person was hit in the crossfire.
Meanwhile the Yediot Aharanot newspaper quoted Eyal Bloom, a local official in southern Israel, as saying that the Tzofar area was important for Israel's security and 30 Israeli farms would collapse if Jordan reclaimed it. Activists and politicians have been vocal against a renewal they say perpetuates Israeli "occupation" of Jordanian territory.
Last week, mass demonstrations took place in Amman, as well as social media campaigns demanding that Jordan reclaim sovereignty over Baqura and Ghamr, with slogans such as "The people want national honor" and "The story is about national sovereignty". An incident past year in which an Israeli security guard killed two Jordanian citizens within the Israeli embassy compound added to the tension. The deal helped Amman to pave the way for United States economic and military assistance to the country.