Police suspect terrorism as Jordanian assaults 2 Israeli co-workers in Eilat

Shin Bet to question suspect over hammer attack at port, which left both victims seriously injured; second Jordanian man lightly hurt trying to restrain attacker

Illustrative image of the port of Eilat (Jorge Novominsky/Flash90)
Illustrative image of the port of Eilat (Jorge Novominsky/Flash90)

A Jordanian national employed at the Eilat port in southern Israel was arrested Friday on suspicion of attacking two Israeli co-workers with a hammer.

The two Israelis were badly wounded in the assault, police said.

The Jordanian man was arrested following the incident. Several hours later police said an initial probe had increased suspicions that the attack was a nationalistically motivated terror act.

The suspect was handed over to the Shin Bet internal security service for further questioning.

In addition to the injured Israelis, who were brought to the city’s Yoseftal Hospital with head injuries, another Jordan worker who tried to restrain the attacker was lightly hurt.

The suspect, who was not immediately named, began working in Israel on Thursday after receiving a daily work permit from the Population and Immigration Authority, according to the Haaretz daily.

Israel in 2014 granted permission for 1,500 Jordanians to work in the Red Sea resort town of Eilat, which is located directly across the border from the Jordanian city of Aqaba.

The countries signed a peace treaty in 1994, but relations have been tumultuous due to occasional violent incidents and political disagreements.

Bilateral ties sank to historic lows last year after an Israeli embassy guard shot and killed two Jordanians, contending that one tried to attack him and the second was caught in the crossfire.

Jordan announced last month that it would not be renewing a land-leasing annex that is part of its peace treaty with Israel.

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