Jordan's foreign ministry summons Israeli ambassador over arrests

Israel arrested two Jordanians on May 16 after they allegedly crossed the border to Jerusalem carrying knives

epa09191990 Jordanians protest in solidarity with the Palestinian people, near the Israeli embassy in Amman, Jordan, 11 May 2021. In response to days of violent confrontations between Israeli security forces and Palestinians in Jerusalem, various Palestinian militants factions in Gaza launched rocket attacks that killed two Israelis in the city of Ashkelon. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said they hit over 100 targets in Gaza Strip during retaliatory overnight strikes. The Health Ministry of Gaza strip said that at least 26 Palestinian, including nine children, were killed from the Israeli airstrikes. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on 11 May that they will increase the rate and intensity of the strikes.  EPA/MOHAMMAD ALI
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Jordan's foreign ministry on Tuesday summoned the Israeli ambassador in protest at Israel's detention of two Jordanians, after they allegedly crossing into the country with knives.

The ministry said it wanted to "convey a strongly worded protest message pertaining to the detention of two Jordanians in Israel", and to demand their release.

On May 16, Israel announced the arrest of two Jordanians for crossing the border from the kingdom on their way to Jerusalem, allegedly carrying knives.

Israeli authorities said the two suspects crossed the border on foot during the night and were arrested on a main road near Maaleh Giboah in northern Israel – a  rare infiltration across the usually secure border.

The ministry "stressed the need to allow the Jordanian embassy in Tel Aviv to visit the two nationals as soon as possible, to assess their situation and to provide the necessary support for them in accordance with relevant international laws", it said.

About half of Jordan's 10 million population is of Palestinian origin, including about 2.2 million refugees registered with the United Nations.

Throughout the 11-day conflict this month between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, demonstrations were held almost daily in Jordan in solidarity with the Palestinians, including demands for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador.

The Jordanian parliament unanimously presented a memo to the government demanding the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador in Amman.

At the time, official media quoted Prime Minister Bisher Al Khasawneh as saying that the government will study the request “in accordance with our national interest".

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken began his Middle East trip with a visit to Jerusalem and Gaza, where he met Israelis and Palestinians, announcing that his country would press on with a plan to reopen its consulate in Jerusalem and vowing to rally support for Gaza, without helping Hamas.

Mr Blinken is heading to Egypt and Jordan as part of a diplomatic mission to shore up the Palestinian-Israeli ceasefire.

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