Jordan border tensions: 5 infiltrators captured, ‘unusual’ weapons smuggling foiled

Shin Bet investigating weapons-smuggling attempt from Jordan; a week later, seven men cross illegally into Israel from Jordanian territory.

By World Israel News Staff

Recent days have seen several security-related incidents along the Israel-Jordan border, as seven people illegally crossed into the country, sparking an hours-long manhunt, and security forces busted an “unusual” weapons smuggling attempt.

During the early hours of Monday morning, seven people infiltrated into Israel via the Jordanian border, triggering alarms that summoned IDF soldiers to the scene.

Initially, five of the group were captured, with two managing to escape from soldiers.

After intensive searches in the area, including emergency alerts informing residents of nearby communities to lock their doors and windows, it was determined that the two men had run back into Jordanian territory.

None of the men detained by soldiers were armed, and authorities believe that they crossed into Israel in search of work. The five men are expected to be returned to Jordan later on Monday.

Following the partial lifting of a gag order on the incident, the IDF said that it had thwarted an “unusual” weapons smuggling attempt last week that also occurred along the Israel-Jordan border.

While details about the incident remain scant, Hebrew-language media reported that the Shin Bet security agency is collaborating with the IDF regarding the matter.

The Matilan Border Police counterterrorism unit and another IDF unit were involved in busting the ring, which saw weapons presumably for use by Palestinian terrorists seized near the border.

Details regarding the number and type of weapons were not revealed to the media.

Israel and Jordan share a 482-kilometer (300 miles) long border, which stretches from the northern Golan Heights to the southern resort city of Eilat.

Weapons smuggling from Jordan has plagued Israeli authorities for years, as large swathes of the border are unfenced and unguarded.

In May 2022, Jordanian MP Imad al-Adwan was arrested at the Allenby Border Crossing after attempting to illicitly smuggle guns and gold from Jordan.

Although Israel and Jordan signed a peace agreement in 1994, lawmakers from the Hashemite Kingdom have repeatedly made inflammatory statements regarding the Jewish state. Visibly Jewish visitors to Jordan – or even those simply transiting through the country’s airport – have repeatedly suffered antisemitic harassment and humiliation from Jordanian officials.