In December 2013, Israel and Jordan signed an agreement on the construction of a desalination plant on the Red Sea, near the Jordanian port of Aqaba, as part of the Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal.  The project addresses two issues: the acute lack of clean fresh water in the region, particularly in Jordan, and the rapid contraction of the Dead Sea. A new desalination plant will be built in Aqaba, Jordan, to turn salt water from the Red Sea into fresh water for use in southern Israel and southern Jordan – each would receive 8 to 13 billion gallons a year. the process produces approximately the same amount of brine as a waste; The brine would be channeled more than 100 miles to replenish the already very salty Dead Sea. I was in Aqaba when Clinton staged the now iconic handshake between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat at the White House. The atmosphere in the palace was dark. Clinton had sent me and a team of experts to assess Jordan`s compliance with UNITED Nations sanctions against Iraq. Jordan`s inclination toward Iraq during the 1990 Kuwait crisis poisoned U.S.-Jordanian relations. Aid had been stopped, military support and logistics had been suspended, and the only Jordanian port of Aqaba had been quarantined to control traffic to Iraq via Jordan. The new administration wanted to see if the page on Iraq and U.S.
relations with Jordan could be brought back to normal. I visited the border crossing to see if the Jordanians were really making sure that only United Nations-approved humanitarian goods entered Iraq. In December 2016, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu announced to his cabinet that the US, EU and Japan were funding this joint Israeli-Jordan-Palestinian Authority project. According to the plan, Netanyahu said, the pipeline project will begin providing communities with fresh water in 2020. Four days later, on 13 March, a Jordanian soldier patrolling the Jordanian-Israeli borders in the north, near the Island of Peace, killed seven Israeli schoolgirls and wounded six others.  The king, who was on an official visit to Spain, immediately returned home.  He traveled to the Israeli town of Beit Shemesh to express his condolences to the grieving families of the Israeli children killed.  He got on his knees in front of the families and told them that the incident “was a crime that is a disgrace to all of us.”