Jordan insists Israeli embassy guard must face justice for Amman shooting

[02-12-2017 07:51 AM]

Ammon News - AMMONNEWS - Jordan said on Saturday that Israel would not be allowed to reopen its embassy in Amman until an Israeli security guard who shot dead two Jordanians faces trial.

The foreign ministry reiterated Amman's position following reports that Israel was planning to appoint a new ambassador to Jordan in place of Einat Schlein, who returned home along with the embassy staff after the shootings in July.

“We did not receive an official request from Israel concerning the appointment of a new Israeli ambassador to Jordan," foreign ministry spokesman Mohammed Al Kayed said.

“We reiterate our position and we will not allow the Israeli embassy to reopen until legal procedures are taken against the security guard.”

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, replacing Ms Schlein was an attempt to placate public anger in Jordan over the her handling of the incident. However, Israel has shown no sign of meeting Jordan's demand that it launch criminal proceedings against the guard, the paper said.

Jordanian police say the security guard, Moyal Ziv, shot dead Mohammad Al Jawawdeh, a 16-year-old carpenter, after the two argued over the delivery and installation of bedroom furniture at a residential building leased to the Israeli embassy. Al Jawawdeh attacked and wounded the guard, who responded by shooting the teenager and also the Jordanian landlord of the property, Bashar Hamarneh, who was standing next to him. The landlord died later in hospital.

Israel claimed diplomatic immunity for the guard to protect him from arrest and questioning by the police.

The killings soured ties between the two countries, which signed a peace treaty in 1994 and had been stepping up security co-operation in response to the war in Syria and the threat from ISIL.

The tensions are also hampering collaboration in other areas, particularly the Red Sea-Dead Sea project to provide Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories with potable water and to help maintain water levels in the Dead Sea. Israel has reportedly threatened to suspend construction of a desalination plant in the Jordanian port of Aqaba until its embassy in Amman is allowed to reopen. Jordan has asked Israel to officially state its position on continuing with the project before the year's end.

*The National

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