Jordan’s foreign minister said that Israel’s warm reception of the embassy security guard who shot and killed two Jordanian nationals — after being attacked with a screwdriver by one of them — was “a disgrace.”
Ayman Safadi told Sky News Arabia on Wednesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should not have welcomed the guard, known only as Ziv, with a hug and a warm welcome on Tuesday, but should have acted diplomatically.
“It is a disgrace,” he said. “It would be appropriate if Israel acted diplomatically.”
Israel’s 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 security agency, Nadav Argaman, to Amman on Monday followed by a phone call between Netanyahu and King Abdullah II.
Mourners on Tuesday accompanied Jawawdeh’s coffin from Wihdat city, home to a large Palestinian refugee camp east of Amman, towards the cemetery in nearby Umm al-Hiran where he was buried.
They carried pictures of the teenager along with Palestinian and Jordanian flags.
In addition to cries of “Death to Israel,” they also chanted: “We will go to Jerusalem as martyrs by the millions.”
Jawawdeh’s uncle, Sami, said the family was urging Jordan’s King Abdullah II to avenge his death “because he is the one who can decide in such matters.”
“Mohammed’s blood did not flow in vain,” he added, saying it paved the way for Israel’s removal early Tuesday of metal detectors at entrances to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount compound.
On Tuesday, Safadi had said that Jordan did not strike “deals” or hold “negotiations” with Israel over the shooting, but upheld its international obligations.
In an interview with CNN, 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.”
The Jordanian minister’s anger increased after the Prime Minister’s Office released photos of Netanyahu embracing Ziv during their meeting on Tuesday.
Safadi said it was wrong of Israel to celebrate Ziv and the other embassy staff as returning heroes.
“This is really absurd,” he said. “This is a criminal case and I think it is in everybody’s interest that it is pursued as such.”
He said the Jordanian government had been intent on questioning the Israeli guard before allowing him to leave the country, “and despite his diplomatic immunity we were able to reach an agreement to take his deposition.”
Jordan will pursue the investigation until “the truth is reached and justice is done,” said Safadi, who was flanked at the news conference by the government spokesman and the state minister for legal affairs.
Jordan said on Monday night that its inquiry had established that the Israeli guard opened fire when attacked by the Jordanian youth, and that the confrontation originated in a dispute over the late delivery of furniture.
Israel Radio reported on Tuesday that Israel will pay compensation to the Hamarneh family after it completes its mourning period. It wasn’t immediately clear what sum Israel would pay to the family.