A photo published in Jordanian media shows Information Minister Jumana Ghuneimat stepping on a large image of the Israeli flag.

By: AP and United with Israel Staff

Israel said Sunday that it had filed a strong protest to Jordan over a picture of a Jordanian government minister stepping on an image of the Israeli flag.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said its embassy in Amman delivered the protest. It said it took the incident extremely seriously and had also summoned Muhammad Hmeid, Jordan’s acting ambassador to Israel, to convey its objection.

A photo published on the Jordanian website Jfranews showed Information Minister Jumana Ghuneimat stepping on a large image of the Israeli flag.

Footprints were also printed on the flag, which Israel said was displayed at a gathering of Jordan’s engineering union. The incident occurred last Thursday at Jordan’s Trade Union building.

Jordan Prime Minister Omar Razzaz reportedly knew about the flag and the controversy it might generate and entered the building using a side door.

Majed Qatarneh, a spokesman of Jordan’s Foreign Ministry, confirmed that Israel had sought clarifications over the incident and the ministry was handling the issue through “diplomatic channels.”

“The Israeli side was informed that the building is a private one and the minister entered it from the main entrance for an official meeting,” he said. “We have emphasized that we respect the peace treaty with Israel.”

Ghuneimat was lauded on social media in Arabic as a hero.

Israel and Jordan signed a peace agreement in 1994, but relations have often been frosty.

Relations have also hit some rocky spots in recent years, however, especially over Jewish access to the Temple Mount compound. Jordan has repeatedly demanded that Israel prevent Jews from entering the site, which is holy to Jews and Muslims, and has even recalled its ambassador over the issue in the past.

Moreover, the Jordanian people, comprised mostly of Palestinians, overwhelmingly oppose the peace treaty and reject any form of normalization with Israel.