Jordan's King Abdullah slams Netanyahu, says guard must be brought to ‘justice’

Abdullah said that Israel's handling of the incident was “unacceptable and provocative.”

July 27, 2017 18:10
2 minute read.
Jordan's King Abdullah attend a joint news conference following a meeting with the French president

Jordan's King Abdullah attend a joint news conference following a meeting with the French president at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, June 19, 2017. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

Jordan’s King Abdullah II returned to Jordan on Thursday from a trip abroad and proceeded to lash out at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his handling of the stabbing and shooting incident involving the Israeli security guard at the embassy in Amman on Sunday.

The Royal Court issued a statement quoting Abdullah in a meeting with his close advisers as saying that Amman had no intention of waiving its demands to bring the guard to “justice.”

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“A staff member at the Israeli Embassy in Amman has shot two of our sons. We will dedicate all the efforts and resources of the Jordanian state to ensure that justice takes its course,” Abdullah said.

He added that Netanyahu needs to “honor his responsibilities and take the necessary legal measures to ensure that the killer is tried and justice is served, rather than exhibiting political showmanship in dealing with this crime to score personal political points.”

The guard, identified only as Ziv, was stabbed by 17-yearold Muhammad Jawawdah, who was moving furniture at the embassy compound. Ziv – in what the Foreign Ministry said was an act of self-defense – shot and killed Jawawdah, but accidentally fired another shot that killed Bashar al-Hamarneh, a physician who owns the building where the embassy is housed and happened to be there at the time.

Abdullah said Israel’s handling of the incident was “utterly rejected and provocative,” something that “angers us all, threatens regional security, and fuels extremism. It is absolutely unacceptable.”

Amman reacted angrily to Netanyahu’s office release of a picture of the premier hugging the guard Tuesday morning soon after his return to Israel, something interpreted by the Jordanians as giving him a “hero’s welcome.”

The king said the way in which Israel handled the case, and the case of the killing of Judge Raed Zuaiter, will “have a direct impact on our relations.”

Zuaiter was killed by IDF fire during an incident at the Allenby Bridge in 2014.

Abdullah expressed his condolences to the family of the two people killed in the embassy incident and assured them that Jordan would not “relinquish any of their rights.”

Jordan has been seething since the guard, as well as Israel’s ambassador Einat Schlein and the entire embassy staff, left the country Monday evening.

On Thursday, Jordanian media reported that Amman would not allow a return of the ambassador and her staff until the guard is brought to trial.

The Foreign Ministry had no response to those reports.

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