The Jordanian parliament has passed a law prohibiting the sale and rent of real estate in the ancient city of Petra to Israeli citizens, following increasing reports of Israelis buying land in the city, the Jordanian daily al-Rai reported Tuesday.

The law differentiates between Israeli and other foreign investors, banning Israelis from renting or buying real estate in the entire Petra region, while allowing others to invest in land located outside Petra Archeological Park.

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The law is an amendment to the Petra Development and Tourism Authority law and was submitted by two parliament members, Mahmoud Kharabsha and Assaf Shubki. It passed on Tuesday after a contentious meeting during which many parliament members voiced strong criticism against Israel, describing it as "the enemy" and "the oppressing entity" and emphasizing that Jordan should take revenge on Israel for its violations on Temple Mount.

MP Shubki told Turkish news agency Anadolu: "Our national sovereignty is more important than foreign investments and I will work together with my colleagues in parliament to enforce the law in all the regions in Jordan and not only in Petra.

"The Zionist enemy contaminates the Palestinian territories and does not respect any international humanitarian treaty. This law is a victory for the Palestinian people and it is the least we can do for them."

According to Jordan's Ministry of Tourism and Antiques, more than 100,000 Israelis visit Jordan per year.



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