191030 Israel-Jordan border
The border sign in the Naharayim park on Israel-Jordan border, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. Image Credit: AP

Amman: Jordan announced on Tuesday that it had recalled its ambassador in Israel over the country’s refusal to free two detained Jordanians, including a woman held since August.

According to Amman, Hiba Al Labdi, 24, and Abdelrahman Merhi, 28, were arrested in August and September respectively at King Hussein Bridge, a crossing between Jordan and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Israel has not given reasons for their detention.

Since their arrests, Jordanian authorities have repeatedly called for their release, a demand Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi repeated on Tuesday.

“In view of Israel’s refusal to respond to our persistent requests to release Jordanian nationals Hiba al-Labdi and Abdelrahmane Merhi and the continuation of their illegal and inhumane detention, we have recalled our ambassador in Tel Aviv for consultations,” Safadi said in a statement.

“We hold Israel completely responsible for the security of our citizens and we will continue to take all political, legal and diplomatic measures to guarantee their safe return.”

He also accused Israel of “endangering their lives because their health had deteriorated”.

According to Jordanian media, the woman has been on a hunger strike for a month and her health has suffered as a result, while her compatriot is suffering from cancer.

Jordanian media reported that the two had each travelled to the West Bank to attend relatives’ marriages.

Israel did not immediately comment on the recall of Jordan’s ambassador.

Israeli media has reported that Labdi has been in detention since August, adding that she was hospitalised due to her hunger strike.

Jordan is one of only two Arab countries — along with Egypt — to have a peace treaty with Israel.