Amman - The Jordan Engineers Association on Monday called on its 70,000 members to refrain from joining packaged tours to the Palestinian territories and Israel, according to a JEA statement.
'Trips to Israel can only take place if okayed by the Israeli embassy in Amman. Seeking approval from the Israeli embassy is recognition of Israel,' the JEA President Abdullah Obeidat said.
'The association is categorically against such trips because Israel is an occupation force that evicted Palestinians from their homes,' he added.
Obeidat accused local travel agencies of promoting visits to Israel under the pretext of encouraging religious tourism.
'The justification cited by some tourism agencies that these trips are only for religious considerations is not acceptable. All holy places are under occupation,' he said.
Several local travel companies currently advertise trips to Israel, taking tourists to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth and other localities to visit Muslim and Christian shrines.
The JEA is one of 14 Jordanian trade unions which still reject the peace treaty which Jordan concluded with Israel in 1994, and refuse to engage in any normalisation of ties with the Jewish state before it quits East Jerusalem and other Palestinian territories which it captured from Jordan in the 1967 Middle East war.
The bylaws of the Jordanian professional associations prohibit their 170,000 members from dealing with Israel and provide for punishing violators, including expulsion from the bodies.
Last month, the Islamic Action Front (IAF), Jordan's largest political party, issued an appeal to Jordanians to avoid visiting Israel. source
2 days ago