An Israeli arrested in neighbouring Jordan a month ago has been referred to court in Amman on charges of illegally entering the kingdom and possessing drugs, an official said yesterday.
“Israeli citizen Konstantin Kotov, who entered the kingdom’s territory on October 29, has been referred to the state security court,” the official said, quoted in state news agency Petra.
Kotov will go on trial Monday for “illegal entry into the territory of the kingdom and possession of drugs for consumption,” the official added.
Illegal entry into Jordan is punishable by up to one year in prison, while possession of drugs carries a penalty of up to three.
Kotov’s arrest comes amid a cooling of ties between Israel and Jordan, one of only two Arab countries to have a peace treaty with the Jewish state.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II last month told a forum in Washington that relations between the two countries were “at their lowest” since they signed the peace deal in 1994.
He cited bilateral disagreements, domestic Israeli politics and issues linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In October, Amman recalled its ambassador from Israel over the prolonged detention without trial in the Jewish state of two Jordanians.
The ambassador returned after the two were released.
Last month, Israeli farmers were shut out from two Jordanian border enclaves after a 25-year-old deal allowing them to work the land there expired and Jordan said it would reclaim “full sovereignty” there.
Opinion polls have repeatedly found that the peace treaty with Israel is overwhelmingly opposed by Jordanians, more than half of whom are of Palestinian origin.
Illegal crossings of the tightly secured border between Jordan and Israel are rare.
© Agence France-Presse