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May 18, 2016 10:04 am

Human Rights Groups Criticize Jordan for Restricting Gazans’ Movement

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The Gaza Strip. Jordan was criticized for not issuing special visas to enable Gazan Palestinians to travel abroad. Photo: Wikipedia.

The Gaza Strip. Jordan was criticized for not issuing special visas to enable Gazan Palestinians to travel abroad. Photo: Wikipedia.

JNS.org – Human rights groups are criticizing the Jordanian government for not issuing special visas to enable Gazan Palestinians to travel abroad from Jordan.

In recent months, Israel has eased travel restrictions for Gazans, allowing them to travel through Israel — and then into the West Bank and Jordan — for travel abroad. But Gaza Strip residents can only travel through Israel if they receive a special permit from Jordan known as the “no objection” letter. Human rights groups are saying that Jordan has started to implement a “wide-scale refusal” of Gazan travelers.

“Those seeking transit from Gaza are seeking just that — transit,” Ken Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, wrote in a letter to Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, the Associated Press reported.

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Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed Momani said there has been no change to the government’s visa policy.

In addition to Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, Egypt also maintains a blockade of the coastal territory and has largely kept its only border crossing with Gaza, Rafah, closed to Gazans for security reasons.

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