A protester burns an Israeli flag during a rally to condemn Washington's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, outside the U.S. embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, Dec. 15, 2017.
A protester burns an Israeli flag during a rally to condemn Washington's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, outside the U.S. embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, Dec. 15, 2017.

Israel is barring tourists and pilgrims from Indonesia in response to what it says is a ban on Israelis by Jakarta.

Tens of thousands of Indonesian Muslims visit Israel every year as part of a wider tour of the Middle East.

Indonesian officials have not confirmed Israel’s assertion that they have suspended visas for Israeli tourists. The countries do hot have diplomatic relations.

But Indonesians have protested what they say is Israel’s harsh treatment of the Palestinians. Earlier this month, Indonesian demonstrators set fire to U.S. and Israeli flags outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta to protest the moving of the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The tourist ban comes amid signs that relations between the Jewish state and the world’s largest Muslim-populated country appeared to be warming.

Trade between Israeli and Indonesia has expended and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for diplomatic ties with Indonesia. 

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