The family of the Israeli security guard who killed two Jordanian nationals at the Israeli Embassy compound in Amman last week have reportedly fled their home after publication of his name on Sunday.
Ziv Moyal’s family left their home in the south of Israel and moved in with relatives out of fear for their safety, after Jordanian media published a photo of Moyal’s diplomatic ID card, with his picture and name, according to Channel 10.
Officials confirmed that Moyal, 28, was the guard who shot and killed the Jordanians while being attacked by one of them with a screwdriver.
His family insisted that “he acted solely according to standard procedure.”
The incident last week has threatened a major diplomatic rift between Israel and Jordan, one of its few allies in the region, after Moyal was returned to Israel, along with the rest of Israel’s diplomatic staff in Amman.
Jordan reacted furiously to the guard being welcomed back as a hero in Israel, and demanded that he be investigated and tried.
A political source told Walla news that the leak of Moyal’s identity to a Jordanian newspaper showed that the Jordanians “were trying to radicalize the situation,” to “force a reality on us, and to punish Ziv.”
Jordan’s King Abdullah II had strongly criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for warmly receiving Moyal at his office hours after he was brought back across the border following the diplomatic standoff.
Netanyahu’s office disseminated photos of him embracing Moyal. According to a statement, the prime minister told him: “You acted well, calmly and we also had an obligation to get you out.”
Abdullah accused Netanyahu of trying to exploit the situation for political points, saying it would have repercussions on the countries’ ties.
On Friday the Israeli Foreign Ministry announced that a preliminary probe was launched into the July 23 attack.
The announcement came after Jordan announced that Israeli embassy staff, who came back to Israel on Monday following the violent incident, would not be allowed to return to Amman until an investigation was opened.
The two nations were already navigating tense relations surrounding violence at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, administered by a Jordanian-controlled trust.
Some details of the incident remain murky. On July 23, laborer Mohammed Jawawdeh, and others were installing a bedroom set at a residence used by the Israeli Embassy in Amman when an altercation ensued. Israeli officials said Jawawdeh attacked the guard with a screwdriver, lightly injuring him. The guard returned fire in “self-defense,” and killed both Jawawdeh and a second man, building owner Bashar Hamarneh, who was there at the time.
A separate Jordanian probe found that Moyal and Jawawdeh got in an argument before the incident, signaling that it was a domestic dispute and not terror related.
On Thursday, Jordan reportedly charged Moyal with murder in absentia, amid calls by Jawawdeh’s family to give the guard the death penalty.
On Friday, hundreds of Jordanians held a protest near the Israeli embassy in Amman over the incident, calling on the government to shut it down and cancel the 1994 peace treaty with Israel.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday that Israel was “launching a probe process into the incident, in accordance with the appropriate legal proceedings in such matters.”
“The [Israeli] state prosecutor [Shai Nitzan], in coordination with the attorney general [Avichai Mandelblit], has instructed all the relevant bodies to submit all related materials they possess,” read the statement.
“In the framework of Israel-Jordan relations, Israel will update Jordan on the developments and findings of the proceedings,” the ministry said.