Israel Appoints New Ambassador to Jordan in Move to Close Diplomatic Rift

[08-02-2018 05:51 AM]

Ammon News - AMMONNEWS - The Foreign Ministry has decided to appoint a senior ministry official, Amir Weisbrod, as the country's new ambassador to Jordan. The appointment of Weisbrod, who headed the Middle East division at the ministry's Center for Political Research and also served in Morocco and as the spokesman at the Israeli embassy in Amman, is subject to approval by the Israeli cabinet.

There has been no Israeli ambassador in the Jordanian capital since an incident in July in which an Israeli security guard shot a Jordanian citizen who allegedly tried to stab him. A Jordanian bystander was also shot and killed in the incident. Israel immediately withdrew its embassy staff, including the ambassador at the time, Einat Schlein.

Jordan refused to allow Schlein to return to the embassy, and expressed indignation over how Israel depicted the incident and the warm reception that she and the guard, Ziv Moyal, received from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on their arrival in Jerusalem. The Foreign Ministry's appointments committee, however, had praise for Schlein and reiterated the ministry's intention to appoint her to another post reflecting her abilities.

The resumption of operations at the Israeli embassy in Amman was made possible after Israel expressed regret over the shooting and agreed to pay compensation to the families of the two Jordanians who were killed. Last month, the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad reported that Israel had paid a total of $5 million to the two families and the family of a Jordanian judge who was killed at the Israeli border crossing at the Allenby Bridge in 2014.

Commenting last month on the shooting incident in Amman, Prime Minister Netanyahu said: "I am certain that the two sides are drawing lessons [from the case]. I am doing so on my side, and I think Jordan is for its part. We have an important interest in contact, and that has found expression in the resolution [of the case]. I would like to express appreciation to the people who worked to bring the case to an end." A statement last month from the Prime Minister's Office said: "Israel attributes great importance to the strategic ties with Israel, and the countries will work to advance cooperation between them and to strengthen the peace treaty [between them]."

In the July incident, the Moyal, the guard, killed 17-year-old Mohammed al-Jawawdeh after the Jordanian attacked him with a screwdriver. Jawawdeh had come to install furniture in the guard's Amman apartment. A bystander, the guard's Jordanian landlord, Dr. Bashar al-Hamarneh, was also killed shot and killed.

For the 24 hours following the shooting, 20 Israeli diplomats and security guards were holed up in the embassy until their passage to Israel was arranged.


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