Photo Credit: Ayal Margolin/Flash90
A Druze protest. June 21, 2023

In a surprise move, Jordan is now allowing Israeli Druze residents of the Golan Heights to enter the Hashemite Kingdom without a visa and without any preconditions.

The move by Amman essentially negates the obligation of Golan Druze residents to obtain an Israeli identity card, as a condition for obtaining a visa on the way to Arab countries. Some Golan Druze are loyal to the Syrian regime and won’t get Israeli IDs.


“On this occasion, we appeal to the other Arab countries that still require us to accept Israeli citizenship as a condition for entering their territories and ask them to cancel this non-national and non-Arab condition and follow the path of Jordan,” said the leaders of the Druze community in the Golan as quoted in Arab media reports.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry told the Tazpit Press Service that it was looking into the matter.

“There is no policy designed to enforce the Druze to receive an Israeli identity card, despite the application of the Golan law,” the Foreign Ministry told TPS. The ministry was referring to Israel’s annexation of the Golan in 1981.

Around 149,000 Druze live in Israel, primarily in the Golan, the Galilee and Mount Carmel region. Of that number, roughly 23,000 live in the Golan Heights.

Israel captured the Golan from Syria during the Six-Day of 1967 and offered citizenship to the Druze residents. Most rejected the offer, believing Syria would recapture the Golan. But over time, many of the younger generation opted for citizenship and social benefits like their Israeli co-religionists.

Before the Syrian civil war began in 2011, it was common for the Golan Druze to study in Syrian universities, marry Syrian women, and even bring them to the Golan to raise their families.

The Golan Druze tend not to go into public life like the Druze in other areas of the country.

The Druze in the Galilee and Mount Carmel areas sided with the Jews during Israel’s War of Independence.

The Druze claim to trace their ancestry to the Biblical personality Yitro (Jethro). There are also Druze communities in Lebanon and Jordan.

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Baruch reports on Arab affairs for TPS.