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Jordan charges Israeli embassy guard with murder

July 28, 2017 at 2:54 pm

People carry the dead body of Muhammad al-Jawawdah, who was killed by an Israeli bodyguard outside the Israeli Embassy on in Amman, Jordan on 25 July, 2017 [Salah Malkawi/Anadolu Agency]

An Israeli embassy guard has been charged with murder by Jordan’s attorney general over last Sunday’s shooting of two men in Amman.

The Israeli embassy guard, a Shin Bet agent, left for Israel after shooting the landlord of the building and a 17-year-old carpenter who was installing furniture at the block. The victims were later identified as Mohamed Al-Jawawdeh, a Palestinian Muslim who was a refugee in Jordan, and a Jordanian Christian doctor, Bashar Hamarneh.

The soldier, Ze’ev, whose last name has not been cleared for publication, returned to a hero’s welcome  in Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warmly received Ze’ev who thanked the minister for the swift reaction to this issue and for facilitating his return. Ze’ev said that he felt as if the whole country was standing behind him.

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Israeli sources reported that Ze’ev rejected the allegation made by Jordanian officials that the incident was sparked by a dispute over furniture, saying he was attacked for “nationalistic” reasons.

Jordan however is insistent on prosecution the soldier for murder. The country’s state media said today that the Attorney General, Akram Masaadeh, charged the guard with two counts of murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm. Ze’ev’s diplomatic immunity, according to Masaadeh, would not prevent him being charged and standing trial in Israel.

Jordan’s cabinet also took the added step of setting up a committee to “recommend a plan for well-planned legal action at all levels, including internationally if necessary, and to be prepared for the stage that follows the prosecution’s completion of the investigation, the trial and the verdict.”