You are here

Jordanians vent ire over Israelis visit to Petra tomb

By Rana Husseini - Aug 04,2019 - Last updated at Aug 04,2019

Tomb of Prophet Aaron, near Petra, some 240km south of the capital Amman​ (JT photo)

AMMAN — Jordanians over the weekend voiced their outrage regarding a video that went viral purportedly showing a group of Israeli pilgrims praying at the Tomb of Aaron on Thursday.

The video and other photos prompted Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Abdul Nasser Abul Bassal to order the closure of the Tomb of Aaron (Prophet Haroun) in Petra on Thursday, the Jordan News Agency Petra, reported.

The minister instructed the concerned officials not to allow any visitor to enter the ancient site without the ministry’s approval, according to Petra.

The ministry also denounced what it described as the “illegal entry to the tomb” and announced that it is opening an investigation into the incident and anyone found responsible will be punished.

Meanwhile, Chief Commissioner of the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA) Suleiman Farajat also issued a statement saying that the photos that were circulating on the Internet date back to 2013.

Farajat said that the PDTRA received information that around 300 Israeli pilgrims were intending to visit the Tomb of Aaron on Thursday and that orders were issued to prevent them from entering.

However, Farajat said that five individuals managed “to enter the tomb with the help of the guard in the area”, according to PDTRA statement.

“The PDTRA stressed the importance of not holding any non-Islamic religious ceremonies and this tomb is not related to Jews neither historically nor archaeologically,” the PDTRA added.

However, the measures and statements by the minister and the PDTRA commissioner were not enough to calm down the public outcry that resulted from the news, videos and images that were circulating on the Internet.  

Maha Abbadi wrote on Facebook:  “It is not their fault. It is the fault of the person who allowed them in.”

Ahmad Badri added: “Why are they allowed to pray in Jordan and the Muslims are not allowed to pray in Jerusalem?”

Zaid Nahle went further to wrote on Facebook: “Seems the Israelis are aiming to take Petra as well and the first step is their prayers there”.

88 users have voted.


Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.