Mossad agent from past Jordan suggests solution to Amman embassy crises | Editor's Choice | Ammon News


Mossad agent from past Jordan suggests solution to Amman embassy crises


[7/24/2017 4:31:06 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Israel will need to “give up on metal detectors on the Al-aqsa mosque” to get its trapped security guard out of Jordan, a former Mossad agent who helped solve a similar crisis with Jordan told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

Currently, an Israeli security guard is being held at Israel’s Embassy in Amman following a Jordanian assailant’s alleged attempt to kill him with a screwdriver. In response to the attack, the guard opened fire, killing the attacker and another nearby Jordanian.

While the guard and Israel claim self-defense, Jordan has refused to allow the guard or any of the Israeli embassy staff to leave the premises until the guard is questioned as some Jordanians have claimed the guard did not shoot in self-defense.

While the guard and Israel claim self-defense, Jordan has refused to allow the guard or any of the Israeli embassy staff to leave the premises until the guard is questioned as some Jordanians have claimed the guard did not shoot in self-defense.

Dr. Mishka Ben David was the Mossad agent in Amman who in September 1997 delivered an antidote to Jordanian security officials to cure then-Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal of poison that other Mossad agents had administered in an assassination attempt following a major Hamas terror attack in Israel.

Ben David, also now an author of several spy novels, handed over the antidote when some of the other Mossad agents were caught by Jordan and Amman threatened to try them and even to break into the Israeli embassy if other agents involved were not turned over.


Israel and Ben David eventually helped cure Mashaal and release imprisoned Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. The moves were conducted as part of a deal to secure the release of Israeli agents, and to placate Jordan’s anger over the Mossad assassination attempt on its soil at a time of flowering open relations between the two.

Ben David told the Post based on his prior experience in the Mashaal-Jordanian standoff, “if we learn from earlier crises with the Jordanians, as soon as they have Israeli assets - they are effectively holding the security guard [since he cannot leave the embassy] and he is the thing they want - they have the cards.”

“Israel needs to make concessions in a different area, but [ones] connected to relations with Jordan to get [the embassy guard] out in peace," he said.

He indicated that such gestures could relate to current tensions surrounding the Alaqsa mosque and Israel's installation of metal detectors and cameras at the Jerusalem holy site in the wake of a deadly attack that killed two Border Police officers earlier in July.

In light of the new security measures, many in Muslim world have accused Israel of attempting to change the status quo at the Alaqsa mosque, under which the Jordanian Islamic Trust, known as the Wakf, manages the site and Israel controls and secures access to it.

"Since the issue of operating the Alaqsa mosque became Jordan’s as part of the Jordan peace treaty, Israel can suggest a solution regarding the metal detectors which is acceptable to the Jordanians.”

If that approach is taken, “Israel would obtain quiet on the Alaqsa mosque and also ease relations with Jordan, while getting its security guard out,” he explained.

Meanwhile, he said the Jordanians could claim Israel got rid of the metal detectors on Amman's account, and the Hashemite kingdom would be hailed by the Arab world for settling the matter.

"Perhaps Israel also needs to concede by doing its own investigation” of the embassy incident and transferring the probe’s results to Jordan to satisfy them, Ben David said.

However, he cautioned that the Mashaal affair took weeks to resolve and that this situation might also take time to resolve.


Rather, he said the metal detectors would possibly first need to be removed and then later the agent released, with the timing being pre-agreed between Israel and Jordan.

Although the Mashaal affair could be seen as more serious because it was clearly an Israeli initiative, Ben David said the embassy incident might be more serious since two Jordanians are dead, whereas Mashaal was saved by Ben David’s antidote.

“I think the fact of diplomatic relations with Jordan and Egypt create a misconception that these are nations that are friends with Israel when that is not the situation regarding the domestic population,” Ben David said.

He said that even if the Jordanian regime is moderate and wants relations with Israel, in moments of crisis it yields to pressure from the Jordan street, which is anti-Israel, "like the [past] siege on the Egyptian and Jordanian embassies.”

From first-hand experience with the Mashaal crisis in Jordan, he said that, “The feelings of those in the siege are very grave feelings. They understand the regime in Jordan does not want to go against the will of the nation, because the nation can also overthrow it.”

That means the Israelis in the embassy are wondering “maybe they will be extradited or their security will be compromised to satisfy the multitudes” of the Jordanian street.

*JP

  • Name: *
  •  
  • Email:
  •  
  • Comment: *

  •