Jordan's trade unions called on Wednesday for a boycott of a cycling tour for environmental awareness, saying the event involving Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians was really a cover to normalise ties with the Jewish state.
The three-day event organised by Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) is a "torch-run" starting October 8 in Jordan, going on to Israel and finishing in the Palestinian territories.
"This association is working to impose normalisation with the Zionist enemy under cover of environmental activities," Badi Rafaiyeh, head of a committee that opposes better ties with Israel, told AFP.
The cycling event is aimed at drawing attention to the threatening impacts of climate change on the lower Jordan River and the Dead Sea, which is shared by Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians.
"We refuse this activity, which we consider harmful for Jordan," Rafaiyeh said.
He added that if Israel "is really concerned with the environment, it should stop tearing down trees, burning land in the Jordan Valley and polluting the waters of the Jordan River and Dead Sea."