Jordanians to visit relatives at Israeli jails

About 50 Jordanians are heading to Israel Tuesday to visit their relatives detained at Israeli jails, local newspapers reported. The collective visit, the first of its type since 1999, has been arranged by the Jordanian foreign ministry with the Israeli authorities, papers said. A national committee campaigning for the release of Jordanian prisoners at Israeli jails put their number at 35, but the foreign ministry has invited relatives of 16 detainees to take part in the visit, without giving reasons for the exclusion of others. The foreign ministry says that several of the Jordanian prisoners at Israeli jails hold the Palestinian nationality and as such consider them Palestinians. The Jordanian government so far refused to include Jordanian prisoners in Israel in any deal for the exchange of prisoners between Israel and Hizbullah and preferred their release be secured through bilateral arrangements with Israel. Jordan concluded a peace treaty with the Jewish state in 1994.