Jordan’s king demands Israel put guard on trial for killing Jordanians

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi

AMMAN (Reuters) – Jordan’s King Abdullah angrily demanded on Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put on trial an embassy security guard who shot dead two Jordanians, and said relations between the neighbouring states were at risk.

Netanyahu gave the guard a hero’s embrace after Israel brought him home under diplomatic immunity, behaviour that the king said was “provocative on all fronts and enrages us, destabilises security and fuels extremism”.

“We demand that the Israeli Prime Minister abides by his commitment and takes all measures to ensure the trial of the killer, and not handle this like a political show to achieve personal political gains,” he said.

The guard shot dead Jordanian teenager Mohammad Jawawdah at Israel’s embassy in Amman on Sunday as well as the landlord of the house in the compound where the guard lived.

Israel said the guard had been defending himself after Jawawdah attacked him with a screwdriver in a “terrorist attack”.

But Jordanian police, who were unable to question the guard, said on Monday that he had fired on the 16-year-old after the young man, who worked for a furniture company and was delivering an order, got into a brawl and attacked him. It was not clear how the landlord came to be shot.

Abdullah, who visited the family of the young teen and paid his condolences on Thursday, said the state would “do everything within its means” to get justice for the two men.

Jordan is one of two Arab states with which Israel has peace treaties, and such an outburst against Israel is rare.

Abdullah also cited a previous incident that outraged Jordanians, in which a Jordanian judge was shot in March 2014 by an Israeli soldier at a border crossing. No investigation was ever conducted.

“The way Israel handles the embassy case and the judge’s killing and other cases will have a direct impact on the nature of our relationship,” Abdullah said.

Many Jordanians have accused the authorities of abdicating sovereignty by…

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