Middle East

Jordan: Israel must try killer before reopening embassy

A Jordanian diplomatic source says the country will not permit Israel to reopen its diplomatic mission in Amman until the regime launches legal proceedings against an embassy guard who killed two Jordanian citizens.

Israel should assure Jordan that “justice has been served” in the shooting case, the unnamed source said on Thursday.

On July 23, Ziv Moyal, the Israeli embassy security officer, shot dead a bystander and a teenage workman, alleging that the latter had attempted to attack him with a screwdriver.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry claimed that the guard had acted in self-defense, but Jordanian officials said the incident was a criminal case in which the two unarmed Jordanians were killed in cold blood by the Israeli man.

The Israeli mission was closed shortly after the regime repatriated the guard, along with the Israeli ambassador and the rest of the embassy staff, under diplomatic immunity.

The guard received a warm welcome from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who praised him for what he termed acting “calmly.”

Netanyahu’s move angered the Jordanian people, with King Abdullah II calling on Israel to put Moyal on trial and complaining that Netanyahu’s behavior had been “provocative on all fronts and enrages us, destabilizes security, and fuels extremism.”

On Wednesday, an Israeli diplomatic source, who was speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Tel Aviv had planned to appoint a new ambassador to Jordan.

“The Jordanians don’t want her (Ambassador Einat Schlein) back, and this has been a big obstacle in patching things up. We’re looking for a replacement,” the source said.

However, the Jordanian diplomatic source said that the Israelis “can look for a new ambassador but that ambassador will not be welcome in Jordan until a due legal process takes its course and justice is served.”

“Our position remains solid in Jordan. The embassy will not reopen until these conditions are met … which is the position we took from the very beginning,” he added.

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