Police to interrogate Jordanian embassy guard – report
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Police to interrogate Jordanian embassy guard – report

Attorney general said to assure ministers the measure is routine for embassy staffers suspected of crimes in other countries

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on July 25, 2017,meets with Israeli Ambassador to Jordan Einat Schlein and security guard 'Ziv,' who shot dead two Jordanians as he was being stabbed by one of them. (Haim Zach/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on July 25, 2017,meets with Israeli Ambassador to Jordan Einat Schlein and security guard 'Ziv,' who shot dead two Jordanians as he was being stabbed by one of them. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Police will soon summon for questioning an Israeli guard who shot dead two Jordanians while allegedly trying to defend himself from a stabber in the Amman embassy compound, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported Wednesday.

During security cabinet meetings following Sunday evening’s incident, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit told ministers that as a signatory to the Vienna Convention, Israel is required to investigate suspects upon their return from a host country that provided diplomatic immunity for charges against them, the report said.

While Mandelblit emphasized that the inquiry is entirely routine, the embassy guard, identified only by his first name, Ziv, will likely be investigated on suspicion of manslaughter, the report said.

The Foreign Ministry said Ziv was stabbed by 17-year-old Mohammed Jawawdeh, who was in an embassy residence installing a bedroom set Sunday evening.

Ziv opened fire on Jawawdeh, killing him and a second man, Bashar Hamarneh, at the site, in what the ministry said was self-defense.

The incident sparked a diplomatic crisis, as Jordanian authorities demanded permission to question the guard while Israel refused to hand him over, citing his immunity.

The deadlock was resolved after a flurry of efforts including a visit by the head of Israel’s Shin Bet General security agency, Nadav Argaman, to Amman on Monday followed by a phone call between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah II.

Israel will pay compensation to the Hamarneh family after it completes its mourning period, Israel Radio reported Tuesday. It wasn’t immediately clear what sum Israel would pay to the family.

The Hashemite Kingdom has seen immense public outrage over the fact that the guard was allowed to leave, and Jordanian lawmakers stormed out of a rocky parliament session that was reviewing the events.

Thousands of Jordanians shouted “death to Israel” at Jawawdeh’s funeral on Tuesday. “We will go to Jerusalem as martyrs by the millions,” they also chanted.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on July 25, 2017 meets with security guard 'Ziv,' who shot dead two Jordanians as he was being stabbed by one of them at the Israeli Embassy compound in Amman on July 23. (Haim Zach/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on July 25, 2017 meets with security guard ‘Ziv,’ who shot dead two Jordanians as he was being stabbed by one of them at the Israeli Embassy compound in Amman on July 23. (Haim Zach/GPO)

“Mohammed’s blood did not flow in vain,” Jawawdeh’s uncle Sami told AFP, saying the death paved the way for Israel’s removal early Tuesday of metal detectors at entrances to the Temple Mount, which houses the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

Israel had installed the devices following a July 14 attack in which three Arab Israelis killed two Israeli policemen who were on duty just outside the compound. They used firearms smuggled onto the mount.

The Jordanian fury only increased after the Prime Minister’s Office released photos of Netanyahu embracing Ziv during their meeting on Tuesday.

In a Tuesday interview with CNN, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi panned Israel for its portrayal of events at the embassy compound. “They tried to portray things as if the ambassador and the suspect [the security guard] were under siege, and that they were liberated and celebrated as heroes coming home.”

AFP contributed to this report.

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