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Jordanian officials say Israeli embassy staff will not return until guard is prosecuted

July 27, 2017 5:09 P.M. (Updated: July 27, 2017 9:28 P.M.)
(File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The Jordanian government has made a decision not to allow the Israeli ambassador to Jordan and the embassy staff to return to Amman until “gaining complete assurances” guaranteeing that the Israeli embassy guard who shot and killed two Jordanians will be prosecuted in Jordanian court, Jordanian media reported on Thursday.

Staff members of the Israeli embassy to Jordan, including a security guard referred to only as Ziv -- who killed Jordanian citizens Muhammad Zakariya al-Jawawdeh, 17, and Bashar Hamarneh in what Jordanian media and officials said was a professional dispute -- had returned to Israel on Monday night after a day of high tensions following the shooting incident.

According to Jordanian media, head of the Jordanian Royal Hashemite Court Fayez al-Tarawna confirmed during his visit to al-Jawawdeh's home on Thursday, that the Jordanian government would continue to follow up with the case in accordance to international diplomatic laws in order “to achieve justice.”

Official Jordanian news agency Petra reported on Monday that the case had been referred to a prosecutor for further legal steps, as Jordan and Israel have sparred over whether the security guard should be handed over to Jordanian custody.

Israel, meanwhile, has refused to allow Jordanian authorities to question the injured Israeli security guard, citing his immunity under the Vienna Conventions -- a body of international law which Israel has been accused of regularly violating.

Relations between Israel and Jordan were already tense before the Amman shooting, as Israeli authorities had installed increased security measures in the Al-Aqsa compound, which is under Jordanian custodianship, following a deadly shooting attack on July 14.

The move has sparked protests from Palestinians, who said it was the latest example of Israeli authorities using Israeli-Palestinian violence as a means of furthering control over important sites in the occupied Palestinian territory and normalizing repressive measures against Palestinians. Major solidarity protests were also staged in Amman.

Seven Palestinians and three Israelis have been killed since the attack, and at least 1,090 Palestinians have been wounded during demonstrations which were violently repressed by Israeli forces across the occupied Palestinian territory.

Israel has since seemingly backed down at Al-Aqsa after two weeks of protests, although the Knesset has meanwhile pushed forward legislation seeking to consolidate Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem.
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