November 20, 2006 – Jordan River Mayors Commit To Water Cooperation

Jordanian and Israeli Mayors Sign Memorandum of Understanding
November 21, 2006

Pella, Jordan

Yesterday, Monday 20 November 2006 by the ruins of the magnificent Roman City of Pella near the banks of the River Jordan, The Jordanian Governor of North Shuna, H.E. Isam Shar’a, the Mayor of Pella in Jordan Mr. Mahmud Allownah and the Mayors of Beit She’an city Mr. Jacky Levy and Beit She’an Valley Regional Council Mr. Dani Tamari from the neighboring communities in Israel, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate on shared water issues.

On both sides of the Jordan Valley streams that once flowed through these communities are now either dry or polluted due to short sighted development plans. Where once fresh water flowed to replenish the River Jordan, today sewage and litter is found.

“The Mayors at yesterday’s historic ceremony committed to rehabilitate their streams and the River Jordan understanding that the cultural landscape of the Jordan Valley is an untapped treasure that could attract ten of thousands of tourists” said Mr. Munqeth Mehyar Jordanian Chair of EcoPeace Middle East a cross border NGO that organized the meeting.

“EcoPeace has been campaigning for over two years on the need to rehabilitate the Jordan River”, said Gidon Bromberg Israeli Director of EcoPeace. “The meeting held yesterday is the product of community support and understanding by municipal leaders that their residents can not wait for central government and an end of conflict in the region.”

A master plan will now be developed for the side streams of the River Jordan Wadi Ziglab in Jordan and Harod Stream in Israel based on the tourism potential of this historic cultural landscape.

The meeting took place through the support of the EU Partnership for Peace program, UK government’s Global Opportunities Fund and the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Foundation.

For more information, please contact Mira Edelstein, [email protected], 03-5605383 ext. 3 or 054-6392937