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Jordanian court orders Israel to pay $500,000 to man hurt in 2017 embassy shooting

Maher Ibrahim lost his job after he was seriously hurt by Israeli embassy guard’s gunfire, in incident that killed 2 people and strained ties

Jordanian protesters wave national flags and chant slogans during a demonstration near the Israeli embassy in the capital Amman on July 28, 2017, calling for shutting the embassy, expelling the ambassador, and canceling the 1994 peace treaty with Israel. (AFP Photo/Khalil Mazraawi)
Jordanian protesters wave national flags and chant slogans during a demonstration near the Israeli embassy in the capital Amman on July 28, 2017, calling for shutting the embassy, expelling the ambassador, and canceling the 1994 peace treaty with Israel. (AFP Photo/Khalil Mazraawi)

A Jordanian court has ordered the Israeli embassy in Amman to pay $500,000 in compensation to a Jordanian man who was injured by an Israeli embassy guard in 2017, in an incident that saw two people shot dead and caused a significant strain in bilateral relations.

Ziv Moyal, the guard, opened fire after one of the Jordanians allegedly attacked him, whereupon Jordan briefly refused to allow him to return to Israel and became irate when he was later warmly welcomed back to the country by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The incident prompted all diplomatic staff, including Ambassador Einat Schlein, to return to Israel, which had no diplomatic presence in Jordan for six months before a new ambassador was appointed.

Jordanian media reported over the weekend that the court had accepted the arguments of the plaintiff, Maher Fares Ibrahim, a furniture transporter who was seriously injured in the incident and recognized as handicapped, and suffered significant financial losses because he was unable to continue working.

In 2018, Israel agreed to pay $5 million in compensation to the Jordanian government, which transferred it to the families of the two people who were shot dead in the incident. The kingdom had also demanded that Israel prosecute Moyal over the deaths.

Israel has maintained he acted in self-defense and hasn’t agreed to press charges against him.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with security guard Ziv Moyal (R) and Israel’s Ambassador to Jordan Einat Schlein (L), at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on July 25, 2017. (Haim Zach/GPO)

In the immediate aftermath of the incident, Jordan briefly refused to allow Moyal to return to Israel or to acknowledge his diplomatic immunity. But a day later, Moyal and the rest of the embassy staff were allowed to return to Israel.

Netanyahu was criticized for his handling of the incident after his office released footage of him meeting and praising Moyal before either country’s investigators had determined what had happened during the incident.

Relations have once again become strained since Netanyahu regained power last month and formed a hardline government with far-right factions.

A visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem by National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir earlier this month, and Jordanian Ambassador Ghassan Majali being delayed by police at the entrance to the flashpoint holy site last week, have angered Amman and sparked several dressing-downs of Israeli Ambassador Eitan Surkis.

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