Jordan Bans Religious Jews' Tefillin at the Border

A Jordanian security official last week forbade a group of religious Israeli tourists to bring in tefillin, because it might 'endanger' them

Moshe Cohen ,

Jordanian border
Jordanian border
Mendy Hechtman/Flash 90

A Jordanian security official last week forbade a group of religious Israeli tourists to bring in tefillin, the ritual phylacteries that Jewish men wear every weekday. The official, a report on Israel Radio said, told the group that bringing in such objects was not permissible, and demanded that they surrender the phylacteries before crossing the border.

The official said that Jordan did not allow the ritual objects in the country in order to ensure the “safety” of the travelers. Muslims who saw the objects – or worse, saw Jews wearing the objects – would be offended, the official said, and might not be able to restrain themselves from attacking the wearers.

An Israeli officials said that the phenomenon was not new, but that Israeli travel agents and government agencies did not inform tourists to Jordan of the regulations because they are not “official,” but imposed at the discretion of border officials in Jordan depending on the situation.

On Saturday, Jordan's parliament accused Israel of "state terrorism" against the Palestinian people after Israeli troops shot dead seven Gazans who tried to breach the border fence and infiltrate Israel, AFP reported.

"The Israeli enemy, sapping the rights of the Palestinians on their own lands... and over their holy places, is exercising state terrorism before the eyes of the whole world," parliament charged in a statement carried by state news agency Petra.

The legislators in Jordan, one of only two Arab countries along with Egypt to have a peace treaty with Israel, condemned "the crimes committed by Israeli forces in the West Bank and Gaza.”



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