The Foreign Affairs Ministry has decided to bar until further notice tourists from Indonesia—a Muslim country that does not have diplomatic ties with Israel—as a response to the country's announcement of its decision to ban the entry of Israelis into its territory in the wake of the escalation in the Gaza-Israel security situation.
Indonesia's announcement comes two weeks after it was expected—in an unprecedented move—to begin granting tourist visas to Israelis.
In addition to the Southeast Asian country being the world's largest Muslim nation, it is also accounts for the largest number of Muslim tourists flocking to Israel every yea, who receive special visas.
Ten of thousands of Indonesians arrive in Israel every year, with statistics consistently on the rise. In 2013, for example, 30,000 Indonesian tourists visited Israel, marking a three-fold increase on the number of tourists who visited in 2009.
Indonesian tourists usually visit Israel for four days as a part of a larger regional trip which includes Jordan, Israel and Egypt.
While economic ties between Israel and Indonesia have shown signs of warming, the Muslim country has decided to close its gates to Israelis.
Relations further deteriorated when thousands of Indonesian Muslims staged a rally protesting President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Activists burned US and Israeli flags in front of the American embassy in Jakarta in a fourth day of protests in Indonesia against Trump's decision on Jerusalem.
The two countries have held discreet talks in attempts to annul Indonesia's latest decision.