Israel began administering COVID-19 vaccinations to 700 Jordanians who were allowed to return to work in Eilat hotels on Monday.
The workers had not been allowed into Israel due to pandemic-related restrictions. The government reversed the policy on Friday at the urging of Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, the Israeli Embassy in Amman and the Jordanian authorities.
The Jordanian workers will have to undergo coronavirus tests and quarantine, in accordance with Health Ministry guidelines, before beginning to work in the Eilat hotels.
“The return of the workers to Israel is another step in strengthening the civil relations between Israel and Jordan,” the Foreign Ministry said.
The move comes amid tensions between Israel and Jordan.
Last week, Jordan blocked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned flight to the United Arab Emirates from entering its airspace. In response, Netanyahu reportedly gave instructions to ban all Jordanian flights from flying over Israel.
Jordan agreed to allow Netanyahu’s flyover, but Netanyahu had already postponed his trip. The ban on Jordanian flights was reversed before any were scheduled to fly over Israel.
Jordan blocked Netanyahu’s flight a day after Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah canceled a planned visit to al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount on the occasion of Isra’ and Mi’raj, the Islamic holiday marking the Prophet Mohammad’s journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and then to heaven.
The visit had been coordinated with Israel, but the prince arrived at the Israeli border with more armed guards than had been agreed upon, according to the Israelis.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said Israel had changed its conditions for the visit. The additional guards were not permitted to enter Israel, and Hussein canceled his visit.
“Israel is interested in a positive and productive relationship with Jordan,” a senior Israeli official said after the Prime Minister’s Office announced the goodwill gesture on Friday.