Jared Kushner, senior adviser to US President Donald Trump, contacted King Abdullah of Jordan and asked him to de-escalate the situation at the Israeli embassy following a deadly shooting, Haaretz has revealed.
According to senior Israeli officials, who have asked to remain anonymous, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to reach Jordan by telephone on Sunday night he appealed to the US to intervene in the crisis in order to salvage Israeli-Jordanian relations.
The Israeli Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, conveyed the request to Kushner and to America’s special peace process envoy Jason Greenblatt. Kushner then contacted high-ranking officials in the Jordanian government, eventually speaking directly to King Abdullah, and requested him to facilitate the return of Israeli diplomats to Tel Aviv.
At a Knesset cabinet meeting yesterday, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman congratulated all the parties involved for successfully defusing the crisis “without a lot of noise and fanfare”.
Netanyahu also expressed his gratitude: “I also thank King Abdullah of Jordan for our close cooperation”.
The news of King Abdullah’s involvement comes amid increased tension in the Kingdom since two Jordanians were killed by an Israeli embassy soldier. Yesterday, several thousand protestors gathered in Amman to call on the Jordanian government to permanently close the Israeli embassy after the accused soldier was welcomed by Netanyahu with open arms. Netanyahu claimed he had diplomatic immunity from prosecution.
Israel is looking to return its Ambassador Einat Schlein to Jordan and reopen the embassy as soon as possible, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The Kingdom has already seen an outpouring of anger over the Al-Aqsa Mosque crisis; the country witnessed numerous protests last week in solidarity with the Palestinians’ “Day of Rage”. Jordan’s peace accord with Israel is unpopular amongst the Jordanian public, many of whom are of Palestinian origin.