Gabbay: It's too bad we have a photo-chasing prime minister

Labor leader on the re-opening of the Israeli embassy in Jordan, "better late than never".

January 19, 2018 13:14
1 minute read.
Avi Gabbay, the leader of Israel's centre-left Labour party, delivers his victory speech after winni

Avi Gabbay, the leader of Israel's centre-left Labour party, delivers his victory speech after winning the Labour party primary runoff, at an event in Tel Aviv, Israel July 10, 2017.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Israeli Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay said on Friday at a meeting of the Tel Aviv Commerce Club that he welcomes the regulation of the Israeli diplomatic relationship with Jordan now when the Israeli embassy in the kingdom re-opened.

Noting that "it's too bad " Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu "waited 6 months" Gabbay said that ''late is better than never.'' He also stressed that Israeli-Jordanian relations are important due to security concerns. 

Gabbay addressed the photograph that Netanyahu took with the Israeli security guard who was involved in the shooting that left two Jordanian citizens dead at the Israeli embassy in Jordan in July. Gabbay claimed that the photo opp was like "poking a finger into the eye of the Jordanian King."

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He blames the photo opportunity as the action that lead to the Israeli embassy closing in Jordan temporarily halting the two countries' diplomatic relationship.

Netanyahu met Israeli Ambassador to Jordan Shlain and the security guard Ziv Moyal: "I am happy to see you here and that things ended as they did"
Gabby claimed that a Jordanian official described the image to him in such terms.

"It is too bad we have an irresponsible prime minister who chases photo [opportunities]", Gabbay said before adding, "sometimes unnecessary photographs have a price."

The embassy in Amman has been closed since July, Moyal, shot dead two Jordanians, Mohammed Jawawdeh and Bashar Hamarneh.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said at the time the Moyal acted in self-defense after being stabbed with a screwdriver by 17-year-old Jawawdeh.

But the situation was made worse when Netanyahu’s staff released a video of the premier hugging and praising Moyal in his office after the latter’s return.

Ben Lynfield contributed to the article.

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