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Israel opens investigation into deadly shooting at Israeli embassy in Amman

Aug. 6, 2017 5:10 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 7, 2017 12:28 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israel’s Ministry of Justice has reportedly opened an investigation into a deadly incident at the Israeli embassy in the Jordanian capital of Amman last month, during which an Israeli security guard killed two Jordanian citizens, amid repeated calls by Jordanian officials to prosecute the Israeli guard.

According to Jordanian news outlet al-Ghad, the ministry announced that Israeli authorities had launched a preliminary investigation into the incident in order to decide if the ordeal could be considered criminal.

Jordan and Israel have sparred over whether the security guard should be handed over to Jordanian custody.

Staff members of the Israeli embassy to Jordan, including the security guard referred to only as Ziv -- who killed Jordanian citizens Muhammad Zakariya al-Jawawdeh, 17, and Bashar Hamarneh -- returned to Israel on July 24, after a day of high tensions following the shooting incident.

Jordanian King Abdullah criticized Netanyahu’s welcoming home of the guard as “a political showoff,” saying it was "provocative and destabilizes security and encourages extremism in the region.”

Israel had 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.

Meanwhile, al-Ghad reported that the passports of some 200 Jordanians were being withheld from their owners at the Israeli embassy in Amman after they had applied for Israeli tourist visas.

Al-Ghad reported that the shooting incident and continued diplomatic disputes between Jordan and Israel were the reasons behind Israel suspending the visa process for Jordanian citizens. However, the passports have continued to be withheld at the embassy.

On Tuesday, 78 out of 130 Jordanian deputies had signed a motion demanding that the Deputies Council urge the Jordanian government to close the Israeli embassy in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

The motion also demanded that the Jordanian ambassador to Israel leave Israel at once in order “to express rejection of the Jordanian government handling of the issue and returning the killer to Israel.”
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