On Sunday, March 14, 2021, Israeli media said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered, last Thursday, a temporary closure of Israeli airspace in front of Jordanian planes, in response to Amman’s preventing his plane from passing through its airspace.
The dispute between the two countries arose when the Kingdom canceled a visit by Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah to Jerusalem, after Israel tried to impose unacceptable measures on his program, which prompted Amman to close the airspace in front of Netanyahu’s plane, which caused the postponement of his historic visit to the Emirates.
Netanyahu responded to Jordan’s decision
At that moment, no reaction was revealed by Netanyahu to Jordan’s failure to his flight, but Israeli media confirmed, on Sunday, that he had ordered the closure of Israeli airspace to Jordanian civil aviation traffic for only two hours.
Israeli media reported that Transport Ministry officials opposed the order and delayed its implementation, and it was eventually canceled before it affected any scheduled flights from Jordan.
Israeli media reported that Netanyahu asked Transportation Minister Miri Regev to send the matter to both the Israeli Airports Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority without consulting the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the diplomatic security cabinet, the Mossad or the Shin Bet security service.
It is noteworthy that such a decision is a violation of the 1994 Israeli-Jordanian peace agreement, which allows planes of each country to fly through the airspace of the other side.
This incident occurred inside Israel, as Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz accused Prime Minister Netanyahu of sabotaging special relations with Jordan.
The beginning of the crisis between the two countries
According to the report by the Israeli channel, the crisis began when Jordan decided Accompanying a large number of Jordanian security guards to accompany the Jordanian crown prince, after it was decided that the team would be limited to a specific number of them.
However, the Jordanian authorities decided to accompany a larger number of guards, which faced Israeli objection, as Tel Aviv insisted on the presence of a small number of guards previously agreed upon.
This Israeli intransigence prompted the Jordanians to cancel the visit, while Israel based its position on the fact that the security of diplomatic guests visiting a country rests with the host country.
Over the last period, Israeli-Jordanian relations have tense during the tenure of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, before improving slightly recently. Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi met his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi three times.