Official: Jordanian Police Threatened to Jail Israelis If They Prayed

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KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/Getty

The Times of Israel reports: Jordanian police on threatened a group of Israeli tourists that they would risk being jailed if they prayed anywhere in the country, an Israeli official said Monday. The tourists were in Jordan to visit the Tomb of Aaron, the biblical high priest and brother of Moses, who tradition holds is buried on Mount Hor, near Petra, at a site known locally as Jabal Haroun.

“It emerged that they were not allowed [to show] any religious symbols,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon told The Times of Israel. He said the incident occurred either Sunday or Monday. One of the tourists, Rabbi Menashe Zelicha of Bnei Brak, said the police officers told his group that “in all of Jordan it is forbidden for Jews to pray.”

“We are not allowed to pray in the morning, no tefillin, no prayer shawls, nothing – we cannot pray, even in the hotel, even inside our room,” Zelicha told the Kol Chai radio station. “Policemen came into the hotel and were shouting and went wild, saying that in a minute they would take us out of Jordan if we made even a tiny squeak. They told us, ‘Whoever prays will be taken to jail.’”

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