Jordan offers 'sins of the Nakba' tours in west Jerusalem

Israeli security officials were surprised when they heard about the trips that are being carried out just a few hundred meters from the Prime Minister's residence.

Nakba day in Gaza (photo credit: MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)
Nakba day in Gaza
(photo credit: MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

The official Facebook site of the "al-Aqsa library," an organization of the Jordanian Wakf (Islamic religious trust), published an invitation to a tour following the "sins of the Nakba" in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Katamon.

This comes against the background of recent strains in the relations between Israel and Jordan. The signature of the invitation shows the library logo and the emblem of the Kingdom of Jordan next to it.

Jerusalem before the 'Nakba'

The trip passes by several points, some just hundreds of meters from the Prime Minister's residence and is part of a series of excursions in the city's neighborhoods. The groups who arrive to the tours free of charge, get a glimpse of the city before the "Nakba."

The tours also pass places where there are houses owned by Israeli citizens today, among others.

One of the places of the tour is the former hotel "Semiramis," which was blown up by the Hagana in 1948. Today there is an apartment building in its place.

The neighborhood is officially called Gonen, but it is better known as Katamon. (credit: Courtesy)The neighborhood is officially called Gonen, but it is better known as Katamon. (credit: Courtesy)

An investigation conducted by Walla! shows that the tour operated by Jordan is not coordinated or approved by the Prime Minister's Office, the National Security Council or the Foreign Ministry, who were all surprised by the contents of the tour.

Maor Tzemach, chairman of the Lach Jerusalem NGO and Matan Peleg, chairman of the right-wing organization Im Tirtzu said: "The Waqf is a hostile organization that tries to harm Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem. We expect the political echelon to stop surrendering to the King of Jordan, and to make it clear that Jordan has no foothold outside temple mount. This is a dangerous situation that will damage the fabric of life between Jews and Arabs and create more conflicts and violence."

The Foreign Ministry stated: "We are not aware of such tours organized by the Waqf." Following a request from Walla!, an investigation was started by the relevant authorities.

Ran Yishai, who served as ambassador and political advisor at the Foreign Ministry and is currently a member of the "Im Eshkachech" organization, said that "Jordan, whose Foreign Ministry recently summoned the Israeli ambassador for a reprimand following the words of the Finance Minister, itself denies the foundations of the existence of the State of Israel, even within the lines of 1949 where it did not rule for a single day."