Jordan charges Israel embassy guard with murder – Demand for closure of the Israeli Embassy and tearing up the unpopular peace treaty. 

Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:51AM
Jordanian mourners attend a funeral of Bashar Hamarneh, a doctor who was in the residential quarter of the Israeli embassy at the time of an attack, on July 27, 2017, after he died of his injuries. (Photo by Reuters)
Jordanian mourners attend a funeral of Bashar Hamarneh, a doctor who was in the residential quarter of the Israeli embassy at the time of an attack, on July 27, 2017, after he died of his injuries. (Photo by Reuters)

Jordan’s public prosecutor says murder charges have been filed against an Israeli embassy guard, who recently shot dead two Jordanians in Amman.

State media said Friday that Attorney General Akram Masaadeh charged the guard with two counts of murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm.

The official argued that diplomatic immunity did not mean the “killer” could not be put on trial in his own country.

An Israeli government source, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said Israel was also “giving preliminary consideration to offering compensation to the family of the second Jordanian (the landlord) killed in the incident.”

The development came after Jordan’s King Abdullah angrily urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to put the guard on trial, warning that the issue jeopardizes Amman-Tel Aviv ties.

“We demand that the Israeli Prime Minister abides by his commitment and takes all measures to ensure the trial of the killer, and not handle this like a political show to achieve personal political gains,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

Abdullah made the remarks when he visited the family of one of the victims, during which he pledged that the state would “do everything within its means”| to get justice for the two men.

King Abdullah lashed out at Netanyahu for giving the guard a hero’s embrace after Israel brought him home under diplomatic immunity, saying the behavior was “provocative on all fronts and enrages us, destabilizes security and fuels extremism.”

King Abdullah II of Jordan

On Sunday, the guard shot dead Jordanian teenager Mohammad Jawawdah at Israel’s embassy in Amman as well as the landlord of the house in the compound where the guard lived.

During the funeral procession of Jawawdah on Tuesday, thousands of Jordanians protested against Israel, calling on Jordanian authorities to close the Israeli embassy and scrap the country’s peace treaty with Tel Aviv.

Israel claims that the guard had been defending himself in a “terrorist attack” after Jawawdah attacked him with a screwdriver. It is still unclear how the landlord came to be shot.

However, the Jordanian police, who were unable to question the guard, say the guard shot the teenager, who worked for a furniture company and was delivering an order, after they got into a brawl.

King Abdullah also pointed to a previous incident in March 2014, in which an Israeli soldier shot dead a Jordanian judge at a border crossing. No investigation was ever conducted.

“The way Israel handles the embassy case and the judge’s killing and other cases will have a direct impact on the nature of our relationship,” he said.

Many Jordanians have accused the authorities of abdicating sovereignty by allowing the Israeli guard to leave the country, with lawmakers walking out of parliament in protest.

Jordanians are set to hold another protest on Friday to repeat their demand for closure of the Israeli Embassy and tearing up the unpopular peace treaty.


Jordan charges Israeli embassy guard with murder

People carry the dead body of Muhammad al-Jawawdah, who was killed by an Israeli bodyguard at Israeli Embassy's building on Sunday, in Amman, Jordan on 25 July, 2017 [Salah Malkawi/Anadolu Agency]

People carry the dead body of Muhammad al-Jawawdah, who was killed by an Israeli bodyguard outside the Israeli Embassy on in Amman, Jordan on 25 July, 2017 [Salah Malkawi/Anadolu Agency]
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An Israeli embassy guard has been charged with murder by Jordan’s attorney general over last Sunday’s shooting of two men in Amman.

The Israeli embassy guard, a Shit Bet agent, left for Israel after shooting the landlord of the building and a 17-year-old carpenter who was installing furniture at the block. The victims were later identified as Mohamed Al-Jawawdeh, a Palestinian Muslim who was a refugee in Jordan, and a Jordanian Christian doctor, Bashar Hamarneh.

The soldier, Ze’ev, whose last name has not been cleared for publication, returned to a hero’s welcome  in Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warmly received Ze’ev who thanked the minister for the swift reaction to this issue and for facilitating his return. Ze’ev said that he felt as if the whole country was standing behind him.

Read: Jordan should stop bowing to Israel

Israeli sources reported that Ze’ev rejected the allegation made by Jordanian officials that the incident was sparked by a dispute over furniture, saying he was attacked for “nationalistic” reasons.

Jordan however is insistent on prosecution the soldier for murder. The country’s state media said today that the Attorney General, Akram Masaadeh, charged the guard with two counts of murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm. Ze’ev’s diplomatic immunity, according to Masaadeh, would not prevent him being charged and standing trial in Israel.

Jordan’s cabinet also took the added step of setting up a committee to “recommend a plan for well-planned legal action at all levels, including internationally if necessary, and to be prepared for the stage that follows the prosecution’s completion of the investigation, the trial and the verdict.”


Netanyahu warmly receives soldier who killed Jordanians

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Israel’s Ambassador to Jordan and the wounded security guard who shot and killed two Jordanians and was returned to Israel
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warmly received the Israeli soldier who killed two Jordanian citizens including a child – along with the staff of the Israeli embassy in Amman – when they returned to Israel on Monday, Safa news agency reported.

Amidst escalating violence from the Israeli army in response to protests at Al-Aqsa Mosque an Israeli embassy security guard shot the two Jordanians in a building used as a residence for embassy staff. Jordan initially prohibited the guard from leaving the country but Israel refused to allow Jordanian authorities to question him citing diplomatic immunity.

According to Channel 7Safa said that the Israeli soldier Ze’ev thanked Netanyahu for the swift reaction to this issue and for facilitating his return home. Ze’ev said that he felt as if the whole country was standing behind him.

Read: Jordanians protest against Israel at funeral of shot teenager

Netanyahu said that Israel “does not forget” its citizens and returning them to Israel is always a matter of time.

The two Jordanians killed by the Israeli soldier were identified as 16-year-old Mohamed Al-Jawawdeh and the physician Bashar Al-Hamarneh, owner of the residential building where the shooting took place.

Read: Israeli embassy staff in Jordan returned to Israel

 

 

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