Israel tries to boost tourism after border security shut

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Tourism to Israel plunged by 50% after the wall was built

Some 1,000 Israeli troops have fanned out across the border with Jordan in a bid to boost tourism after a drop in the number of visitors from Israel.

This comes after border violence with Jordan led to a 50% drop in the number of Israeli tourists coming to Jordan, partly due to fears about the security situation.

It also meant the two countries lost income.

However, police say the border has remained calm and the number of Israelis visiting Jordan has bounced back.

What happened?

Last month, officials in Jordan closed a crossing near Jericho, separating the two countries, as dozens of protesters poured into the area carrying banners and chanting anti-Israel slogans.

Police broke up the demonstration after about three hours.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Forces used tear gas to disperse the crowd

In response, Israel’s deputy defence minister, Danny Danon, said those who had broken the border would be dealt with “according to international law and Israel’s sovereignty”.

Two Palestinians who authorities said were involved in the border protests were arrested and remanded in custody.

The two countries have been on opposite sides of the conflict with the Palestinians since the Six Day War in 1967.

During the protests, protesters threw rocks and firebombs at Israeli security forces who fired back, wounding at least 28 people.

Israel opened up its northern border with Syria to refugees escaping the conflict, throwing one worker out a window and describing it as a “turning point” for its border protection.

Despite the return of border violence, overall traffic to the Jordan Valley has remained robust in 2019.

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