Israel shows Jordan proof its national carried out attack

Foreign Ministry sends video of Saeed Amro charging at Jerusalem police with a knife Friday before being shot dead by cops

Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday sent video footage to Amman that proved a Jordanian national tried to stab Israeli Border Police officers in Jerusalem before he was shot dead, as the body of the would-be attacker was handed over to Amman for burial.

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry had Saturday sharply condemned the killing of Saeed Amro as “a barbaric act.”

Israeli security officials said Amro, 28, was shot and killed Friday as he approached a group of policemen with knives in each hand at the Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City. Upon searching Amro’s body, police found another knife on his person.

Footage from a security camera that was released Sunday corroborated the Israeli account, clearly showing Amro brandishing the blades and moving towards at security forces before being shot.

According to police, Amro also shouted “Allahu akbar” — God is great, in Arabic — as he approached the officers.

He had arrived in Israel the day before and stayed at a hostel in the Old City. On Friday morning he attended prayer services on the Temple Mount.

According to police, Amro purchased the knives at a shop in the Muslim Quarter market upon leaving the holy site on Friday and hid them in his clothes.

Jordanian authorities over the weekend expressed doubt that Amro had assaulted the Israelis at all, saying he was merely a tourist. A spokeswoman for the Jordanian Foreign Ministry denounced “the barbaric act of the army of the Israeli occupation, whose premeditated shooting of the Jordanian Saeed Amro… killed him on the spot.”

“Amro was part of a group of tourists who had entered the Palestinian territories on Thursday to visit Jerusalem,” Sabah Refai said.

Meanwhile, Amro’s body was handed over to the Jordanian authorities at the Allenby crossing on Sunday.

Also over the weekend, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm in Jordan called Amro’s death an “execution” and demanded the closure of Israel’s embassy in Amman.

Many Palestinians hold Jordanian passports, and Israeli police said on Friday they were checking if Amro also had Palestinian papers. But a Jordanian official source told AFP that he was not Palestinian.

Amro’s attack on Friday was just one of six that took place in the West Bank and Jerusalem in the past three days.

Senior Palestinian officials have also condemned the killing of attackers over the weekend as “executions,” though they said nothing of the attacks themselves.

On Friday a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the killings of two attackers by Israeli security forces in separate incidents in Jerusalem and the West Bank were “a crime and an execution.” Nabil Abu Rudeineh also called on the international community to defend the Palestinian people.

Hanan Ashrawi, a senior Palestinian official, also condemned Israel for the “extra-judicial killings” of attackers.

PLO official Hanan Ashrawi (photo credit: Ahmad Gharabli/Flash90)
PLO official Hanan Ashrawi (Ahmad Gharabli/Flash90)

“Israel is flagrantly employing a systematic and willful policy of summary executions against the Palestinian people; such provocative acts are in direct violation of international law and conventions,” Ashrawi said. “We call on the international community to engage rapidly and effectively before it is too late.”

AFP and Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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