By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
A Jordanian accused of opening fire on Western tourists in Amman's Roman amphitheater, killing a Briton and wounding six other people, insisted in court on Wednesday that God "blesses" him for the attack, saying the British are enemies of Islam.
Prosecutors say Nabeel Ahmed Issa al-Jaourah fired a pistol at Western tourists at the historic site in September, while shouting, "Allahu akbar," or "God is great." British accountant Christopher Stokes died in the attack, and five people from Australia, Britain, the Netherlands and New Zealand, as well as a Jordanian tourist police officer, were wounded.
"God blessed me when I killed a British man and hurt others, because they are fighting the Prophet and his soldiers since Balfour Declaration," al-Jaourah told the military court, referring to a 1917 document by the British government promising support for the creation of Israel.
"The British people ... insulted the honorable Quran and women who wear the head cover," said al-Jaourah, who is a Jordanian citizen of Palestinian origin. He was apparently referring to comments in October by British House of Commons leader Jack Straw, who said he believes that face-covering Muslim veils inhibit communication.
Al-Jaourah has pleaded innocent to murder charges. But after his comments, the prosecutor said he had confessed and urged the court "to hand him the harshest punishment."
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