Israeli delegation locked down in Amman embassy after stabbing attack

An Israeli security guard was stabbed in an unusual attack at the country's embassy in Amman, which is suspected to have started as a brawl between him and the attacker.

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July 24, 2017 06:26
2 minute read.

Scene of attack at Israel's embassy in Jordan (credit: REUTERS)

Scene of attack at Israel's embassy in Jordan (credit: REUTERS)

 
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An Israeli security officer at the Israeli embassy in Jordan was stabbed in the stomach in Amman by a man with a screwdriver moving furniture in one of the residences in the embassy compound Sunday night, as tensions over the Temple Mount spilled over to the east side of the Jordan River.

According to a Foreign Ministry statement, the guard shot the assailant – identified as Mohammed Zakaria al-Jawawdeh, 17– in self defense. Al-Jawawdeh was killed, and another man at the scene – the owner of the compound – was injured and later succumbed to his wounds.

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The Israeli guard suffered light injuries.

The Jordanians have refused to let the guard be transferred back to Israel. The Foreign Ministry said that according to the Vienna Convention that covers diplomatic relations, the guard has immunity from investigation and arrest. He, and the rest of the delegation, are currently locked down in the compound, and Israel is not letting the Jordanians investigate the guard.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said on Army Radio that “according to international law he has complete immunity and needs to be transferred to Israel by the Jordanians, and it is forbidden for them to even investigate him."

 Jordanian police outside Israeli embassy in Amman

The Jordanian police said that the two Jordanian workers from a furniture firm entered the embassy compound, and the owner of the residence was there at the time.

The Israel's military censor refused to permit Israeli news sources to publish the story until early Monday morning as efforts to secure the release of the security guard were underway.

The online edition of Jordanian daily Al Ghad reported that the security guard fired two bullets. The paper said Jordanian security forces arrived at the area and put it on temporary lock down.

In their statement, the Jordanian police said that after the attack they had sealed the heavily protected embassy in an affluent part of the capital and deployed dozens of anti-terrorism gendarmerie forces.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone on Sunday night with Israel's Ambassador in Jordan, Einat Schlein, and the security officer.

Zionist Union MK Ksenia Svetlova tweeted even before the censor had cleared the story for publication that there was a “dangerous security incident” at the embassy in Jordan. She called on the Jordanian government to take all the necessary steps to ensure the security of the personnel at the embassy.

The attack at the embassy comes just two days after thousands of demonstrators in Amman protested against Israel, chanting slogans such as “How beautiful it is to kill soldiers from Jerusalem.”

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