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Israel to reopen embassy in Jordan

January 30, 2018 at 4:41 pm

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

Israel said today it was reopening its embassy in Jordan which was closed following the killing of two Jordanians by an embassy security guard last July.

The embassy shut down shortly after the shooting as Israel hastily repatriated the guard under diplomatic immunity to prevent Jordanian authorities interrogating him and taking any legal action. Israeli ambassador and embassy staff were also pulled out.

Amman had previously demanded a homicide trial for the guard, whose repatriation under diplomatic immunity and hero’s welcome by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu angered Jordanians.

Netanyahu had initially adopted a bullish attitude. But the Likud leader has since pledged to “implement and follow up legal measures” in the case and also take action in the shooting of an unarmed Jordanian judge by an Israeli soldier in an incident in 2014.

Read: Jordan says Israel apologises for deaths of two Jordanians at embassy

A Jordanian government spokesperson, Mohammad Momani, said earlier this month that he had received from Israel an “official memorandum” apologising for the deaths of the two Jordanians. He also confirmed that Israel had agreed to comply with all the Kingdom’s preconditions for resuming regular diplomatic relations between the two sides. Those included, he said, bringing legal action against the Israeli security guard, and offering financial compensation to the bereaved Jordanian families.

Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said that the embassy in Amman was in the process of “gradual reopening “and it was now preparing to reopen to the public.