Fact Check: Jordan Did NOT Extend Land Passage For Israeli Imports, Prime Minister Says

Fact Check

  • by: Jamal Halaby
Fact Check: Jordan Did NOT Extend Land Passage For Israeli Imports, Prime Minister Says Imagination

Did Jordan extend an overland passage for Israeli imports coming from India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)? No, that's not true: Although there are scores of videos in Arabic claiming that Israel opted for an alternative route to naval freight in the Red Sea because of pro-Iranian Houthi rebel attacks that blocked international navigation, Jordanian Prime Minister Bishr al-Khasawneh dismissed the claim.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok on February 20, 2024. A text overlay (translated from Arabic to English by Lead Stories staff) read:

A land bridge extends from India to Israel and passes through the Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi (Arabia) and Jordan.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:


(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Feb 26 11:51:18 2024 UTC)

The video depicts an unidentified Egyptian-Arabic-speaking man, who claims that Jordan is being used as part of a land route for Israeli imports from India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where goods are loaded onto trucks and headed for Israel overland through Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. A headline in Arabic (as translated) read: "Listen so that you'd know what your country is bearing," a reference to Egypt, which is presenting itself as a leading Arab force countering Israeli plans in the Gaza Strip, including an anticipated offensive on Rafah.

However, al-Khasawneh, the Jordanian premier, became the first top Jordanian official to speak publicly on the so-called "land bridge" through Jordan in comments televised nationwide by al-Mamlaka (archived here) news channel on February 25, 2024.

"We will not remain silent," he said somberly (as translated). His comments also appeared on various social media platforms, including an al-Mamlaka reel posted on Instagram.

"I am speaking for myself, at least I will not stand silent in front of puns that speak of truth, of stories inspired by imagination that point to us and our positions by stories from weaving imagination that have no basis in reality and truth, that we are being disgraced because of a land bridge that does not exist," he said (as translated). "On the ground, there is neither a land bridge nor a sea bridge, because I ... said, and I will say again, that the transportation arrangements from Jordan, to Jordan, and across Jordan have not undergone any change in the last 25 years or more than 25 years."

In the wake of the Hamas-Israel conflict, which erupted on October 7, 2023, Shiite Muslim Houthis have launched scores of missile attacks on U.S. warships and commercial vessels in the Red Sea, mostly from the Mandab Strait off Aden, targeting ships suspected of being Israeli, having Israeli crews or carrying goods for Israel. The attacks brought international navigation in the Red Sea to a virtual standstill.

  Jamal Halaby

Jamal Halaby is a fact-checker, who has been working with Lead Stories for nearly two years, helping bring the truth and factual information to the organization's global audience. With extensive background in investigative journalism and content writing and editing in Arabic and English, Jamal uses that experience to expose a burgeoning market of misinformation and disinformation. Previously, he worked as a writer for the Associated Press and several other reputable international news organizations. He has a passion for empirical analysis and discerning the veracity of the news.

Read more about or contact Jamal Halaby

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