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Jordanian King slams Netanyahu over 'provocative' handling of embassy guard crisis

July 28, 2017 12:19 P.M. (Updated: July 28, 2017 2:46 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Jordanian King Abdullah II reportedly slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the way he has been handling the case of the Israeli embassy guard who shot dead two Jordanian civilians last week, Jordanian media outlets 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.

Jordanian news sites reported that King Abdullah criticized Netanyahu’s welcoming home of the guard as “a political showoff” saying “it is provocative and destabilizes security and encourages extremism in the region.”

King Abdullah assured news agencies that the Jordanian government “will dedicate all efforts to return the rights of the killed Jordanian civilians and will achieve justice.”

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

“The Israeli prime minister is demanded to commit to his responsibilities and take the right legal procedures in putting the killer on trial... instead of handling this crime with the attitude of political showoff to achieve personal and political interests,” Jordanian media quoted King Abdullah as saying during a meeting with Jordanian leaders.

He offered sincere condolences to the families of al-Jawawdeh and Hamarneh and confirmed that he “will not back down on their rights and that the Israeli handling of the case will directly affect Israeli-Jordanian ties.”

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