Jordanian MP brags about carrying out terror attack against El Al office in 1969
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Jordanian MP brags about carrying out terror attack against El Al office in 1969

Mansour Saif al-Din Mourad, a member of Jordan’s House of Representatives, claims that he was inspired to perpetrate attack by ex-Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser

Mansour Saif al-Din Mourad, a member of the Jordanian House of Representatives, speaking to the Jordanian A One TV station on December 9. 2019. (Screenshot: MEMRI)
Mansour Saif al-Din Mourad, a member of the Jordanian House of Representatives, speaking to the Jordanian A One TV station on December 9. 2019. (Screenshot: MEMRI)

A Jordanian parliamentarian bragged about carrying out a terrorist attack on an El Al office in Athens, Greece in the 1960s and claimed that he was inspired to perpetrate it by former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Mansour Saif al-Din Mourad, a member of the Jordanian House of Representatives, the lower house of the Hashemite Kingdom’s parliament, made the remark in an interview with Jordan’s A One TV on December 9. It was not immediately clear what attack he was taking responsibility for.

“I am a terrorist in the eyes of the Zionist entity and all the imperialist forces, headed by America. All of the enemies of the peoples and of the world’s liberation movements call resistance fighters ‘terrorists,’” he stated, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, which translated excerpts from the interview.

“Since I was a child, I had heard that this enemy wants to eliminate the Palestinian people and the region in its entirety. The truth is that I admired and applauded a saying we used to hear in the days of Abdel Nasser, may he rest in peace: ‘What was taken by force will be regained only by force,’” he added.

“This got stuck in my head, so at the first opportunity I got, I decided to avenge the blood of the Muslims and the Arabs that was shed by those occupying and invading murderers, who serve as tools for the imperialist forces in the world.”

Later in the interview, Mourad claimed:”We struck them with a painful strike, and their soldiers dropped like leaves in the middle of fall.”

When asking Mourad about the attack, the interviewer stated that it took place on December 27, 1969.

The Jordanian Parliament (Jordan Parliament official)

It was unclear whether the attack indeed took place on that date. A hand grenade attack on an El Al office took place on November 27, 1969, killing a Greek child and injuring more than a dozen others. According to The New York Times, two Jordanian terrorists were sentenced to prison terms for that attack but were released after the hijacking of a plane in mid-1970.

Mourad also alleged that the attack was in line with international law and claimed that he and the other or others who perpetrated it informed Greek authorities ahead of time of their intention to carry it out in the form of a threat.

“There is an international law that governs situations in which a certain group wishes to carry out security and military strikes in another country. International law sets terms for such attacks. When one party wishes to attack another party on neutral territory, it must warn the [neutral] country, and it must carry out the attack in broad daylight,” he stated.

“It must not attack security personnel and it must avoid harming that country’s security. We wanted to attack a Zionist target in Greece, so we had to let the Greek government know, in general terms, of course…” In the form of a threat, he added.

Many members of the Jordan’s House of Representatives often express considerably more hardline views on Israel than that of those who belong to the Jordanian government and royal family.

Jordan is one of two Arab countries to maintain formal diplomatic ties with Israel, with Egypt being the other.

In late November, Jordanian King Abdullah II said that relations between Jordan and Israel were now at their worst point ever.

“Part of it is because of the Israeli domestic matters,” Abdullah said, in an apparent reference to the political gridlock in Jerusalem. “We are hoping Israel will decide its future — whether it is in the next several weeks or three months.”

At the time, an edited video of his remarks was posted on the Royal Hashemite Court’s YouTube page.

A picture taken from the Israeli side of the border shows Jordanian soldiers raising the national flag ahead of a ceremony at the Jordan Valley site of Naharayim, November 10, 2019. (Menahem Kahana/AFP)

Later in his comments, Abdullah said: “The problems that we have had with Israel [are] bilateral… Now I hope, whatever happens in Israel over the next two or three months, we can get back to talking to each other on simple issues that we haven’t been able to talk about for the past two years.”

In the video, he did not clarify which “simple issues” Israel and Jordan have been unable to discuss over the past two years. The bilateral ties between the countries span trade, water, agriculture, tourism, natural gas and many other issues.

While security ties between Israel and Jordan have flourished, political relations have soured recently over a number of matters including Netanyahu’s pledge in September to annex the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, if he is given another term in office.

Jordan has long supported a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which would include the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

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