- The Washington Times - Monday, January 1, 2007

JERUSALEM (AP) — Jordanian King Abdullah II has complained of bovine odors coming from the Israeli side of the frontier along the countries’ shared southern border, Israel’s environment minister said yesterday.

Speaking to Israel Radio, Gideon Ezra said the smells, from a livestock quarantine facility, were blown across the frontier toward the king’s palace in Aqaba, on the Red Sea next to the Israeli town of Eilat. Jordanian officials contacted Israel last week and requested that the odors be neutralized, Mr. Ezra said.

Jordan and Israel, enemies for decades, signed a peace agreement in 1994 and now have diplomatic ties.

In response to the Jordanian complaint, Israel has ordered the owners of the facility — where imported livestock is held in quarantine before being released to farmers — to clean up large amounts of animal waste that had built up at the site, said Sharon Achdut, a spokesman for the Environment Ministry.

Mr. Ezra said that upon receiving the complaint, Israeli officials immediately spread “deodorants” around the site to offset the smell affecting Abdullah’s palace, and that a thorough cleanup would begin within days.

“I think that when we get a request from Jordan, just as when we make a request of Jordan, it’s one country’s duty to do as much as possible for the other,” Mr. Ezra said.

An official from the Jordanian royal palace said the complaint was relayed to the Israeli Environment Ministry through Jordan’s ambassador in Tel Aviv.

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