Israel sends 'letter of protest' over Jordan's 'discriminatory rules' against Haredi Jewish tourists

Israel sends 'letter of protest' over Jordan's 'discriminatory rules' against Haredi Jewish tourists
Israel has been angered by reports that Haredi Jewish tourists were allegedly asked to cut their hair and remove certain items of clothing when they entered Jordan.
2 min read
26 July, 2023
Jordan has said it wants to ensure the safety of Israeli tourists, according to Israel Hayom [Getty/file photo]

Israel has sent a letter of protest to Jordan over the alleged mistreatment of Haredi Jewish tourists at the border, Israel Hayom has reported.

The report claims that 150 Haredi Jews were detained for up to two days and asked to cut their traditional sidelocks when entering Jordan.

Jordanian guards had said it was safer for them "not to be visibly Jewish while travelling".

When contacted by The New Arab about the report, a Jordanian interior ministry spokesman said certain rules applied to everyone.

"We encourage tourism and the ministry of interior works continuously, and in cooperation with partners, to play its related role in this aspect," the spokesman said.

"But as you know, there are restrictions and determinants that guarantee the maintenance of security and public order in a way that serves considerations of the national interest."

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Foreign Minister Eli Cohen rejected the Jordanian authorities' claim that it was trying to protect Israeli visitors, alleging that religious Jews have been subject to "discrimination" before. 

He said that Jewish Israelis had been required to remove certain items of clothing or accessories before by Jordanian guards, according to Israel Hayom.

Jordan and Israel have shared diplomatic ties since 1994 and the Arab kingdom sees thousands of Israeli tourists every year. Despite this, relations between the two countries have been tense since last year and many Jordanians reject the peace agreement with Israel.

The hardline Israeli government has pushed through with settlement projects and carried out deadly raids in the occupied Palestinian territories. It has also challenged the status quo of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, of which the Jordanian monarch is a custodian.