Israel and Jordan in Diplomatic Showdown Over Amman Embassy Attack

25 July, 2017, 00:27 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Security officials near the Israeli embassy in Amman after a shooting that left two men dead and one injured

Jordanian government officials were not immediately available for comment. The attacker and one additional Jordanian were shot dead, and one Israeli was reported wounded.

Jordan said he can only leave the country after an investigation.

The Israeli foreign ministry maintains that "the security officer has immunity from investigation and imprisonment".

Details of the incident in the Jordanian capital remain unclear.

The Israeli officer was slightly injured in the incident.

The event quickly turned into a charged, if discreet, showdown over diplomatic immunity, with Jordan demanding to question the Israeli security guard and barring him from leaving the country, according to local news reports. "There is no need for a diplomatic escalation". It said that the killing of the two Jordanians could have been avoided, blaming Israeli security staff of using lethal force unnecessarily.

The incident comes at a time of heightened tension in the region over a Jerusalem holy site, where Jordan has an historical role as custodian. Jews revere the esplanade as the site of their destroyed biblical Temples, and the holiest site in their religion. It was the first sign of a high-level, on-the-ground attempt by the Trump administration to end the standoff between Israel and the Muslim world.

They were shot dead by Israeli-Arab gunmen in the surrounding area on 14 July. The PA also cut all contact with Israel following the move.

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The Amman shoot-out came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with his security cabinet to decide how to respond to the increasing violence, including the July 21 deaths of three Israelis stabbed by a Palestinian assailant at their home in a West Bank settlement.

Other regional leaders warned that the clashes in Jerusalem could spread to other parts of the Middle East. Since then, Muslims have administered the shrine, with Jews allowed to visit, but not to pray there.

Haaretz and Walla both quoted Israel officials as saying that a senior Israeli defense official will travel to Jordan later on Monday as the incident threatens to wreak havoc with one of the few relatively stable relationships Israel has with an Arab state.

Meanwhile, Israeli personnel at the Amman embassy were evacuated.

A second Jordanian man at the scene, who was the landlord of the building, was also injured and later died of his wounds. The guard was lightly hurt, the ministry said.

He said his son was not a trouble-maker and had not belonged to any groups or political parties, and demanded to know why the boy had been killed.

The father of Mohammed Zakaria al-Jawawdeh, the 17-year-old, shared his version of the story.

Israel lifted a gag order Monday imposed the night before. Such railings are typically used for crowd control, to create orderly lines.

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