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Jordanians who crossed border still detained in Israel

Families unsure of detainees' fate following conflicting statements

The Two Jordanians (left: Khalifa, right: Musab) who were arrested by Israeli forces after sneaking across the border on May 16, 2021. (Photo: Handout from the detainees' families)
AMMAN — Two Jordanians who were arrested by Israeli forces on Sunday after sneaking across the border are still detained in Israel, the Foreign Ministry clarified on Tuesday after the speaker of the Lower House announced their return, causing confusion for the detainees’ families.اضافة اعلان

During yesterday's Lower House session, Speaker Abdul-munem Al-Oudat said that he was informed by Interior Minister Mazen Al-Faraya that "Jordanians who snuck across the borders have been brought back to Jordan.” However, he later clarified to Jordan News that "he was referring to another incident and two different men."

Mahmoud, the father of Khalifa, one of the men detained in Israel, told Jordan News that he is still unaware of his son’s fate.

“I wonder what will happen to my son because now anything can happen, in light of the government’s conflicting statements and clarity”, said Mahmoud.

The Foreign Ministry similarly clarified the confusion about incidents of Jordanians sneaking across the borders towards Israel.

"The ministry is still following the case of two detained Jordanians in Israel,” the statement read.  The ministry also stated that it received two Jordanians who crossed the borders in a different incident.

Khaled Mahajneh, a lawyer representing the currently detained men, told local media that the "two men are still in Israel and their detention was extended until Thursday pending investigations."

He added that the men in question are facing three different charges, including planning a terrorist attack, entering Israel illegally, and aiding and abetting crime.

“It is such a shame to see official statements made without confirmation,” said MP Saleh Armouti. “The minister of interior did not confirm his information before passing it on to the speaker. We received messages from the families of the detainees who told us that they did not come home during the session."

The detainees, Musab and Khalifa, 38 and 29 respectively, are from the same village in Irbid in northern Jordan. Both men had not informed their families of their intentions to sneak across the borders.

“I had no idea that my son would do that, I was shocked to see his pictures on social media and TV. He usually followed up news and he was frustrated with what was going on in Palestine,” added Mahmoud.

According to the father, Khalifa did not own a mobile phone and he was not active on social media.

Saleh, the father of the second arrestee Musab, was also unaware that his son snuck across the borders. He said that seeing the news on social media “shocked the whole family.”

“My son is a simple young man, and he did not care much for politics. We were not alarmed when he didn’t come home that night because he sometimes spends nights in the wild and we got used to it,” said Saleh.

As violence in Gaza is ongoing and protests on both sides of the border rage, Jordanians have held several protests in Al-Karameh area near the border against Israeli aggression and in solidarity with Palestinians.

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