Jordan Denies Entry to Israeli With Jewish Prayer Items

Tourist was stopped at border crossing after he was found to be carrying prayer shawl, phylacteries.

Jordan denied an Israeli citizen entry into the country after border guards noticed that the traveler was carrying a prayer shawl and phylacteries, Israel Radio reported on Friday.

After initially being stopped by Jordanian authorities at the border crossing near Eilat, the tourist offered to leave the traditional prayer items on the Israeli side, but to no avail, according to Israel Radio.

Upon his return home, the tourist sent a letter of protest to the Jordanian ambassador in Tel Aviv, who responded that security concerns required that travelers entering the Hashemite Kingdom not do so with prayer shawls and phylacteries.

The Foreign Ministry told Israel Radio that it is aware of prior incidents of this nature, adding that it rejects Jordanian claims that the traditional Jewish prayer items pose a threat to the country.

Jewish males over the age of 13 are required to don a prayer shawl and phylacteries (known in Hebrew as tefilin) during worship services.

Three years ago, Jordan prevented Orthodox Jewish Israelis from entering the country for fear they would be the targets of terrorist attacks.

Jordan refused to allow a group of eight Israeli tourists from entering the country after an inspection at the border crossing revealed prayer shawls and phylacteries.

Jordan is one of two Arab countries to have signed a peace treaty with Israel.