Jordanian of Palestinian origin sentenced to death over 2019 stabbing spree

Jordan’s state security court sentences a man to death on Tuesday for the 2019 stabbing of eight people, four of them foreign tourists, at one of the kingdom’s ancient sites.

The victims, who included one Swiss and three Mexican tourists, all survived the November 2019 knife attack in the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Jerash, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of the capital Amman.

Mustafa Abu Ruwais, 24, was sentenced to “death by hanging for the terrorist knife attack on tourists,” the court says.

There is no right of appeal against the decisions of Jordan’s state security court.

Abu Ruwais, a Jordanian of Palestinian origin, was at the time of the attack a resident of the Souf camp in Jerash, which houses some 20,000 Palestinian refugees.

Illustrative: Tourists walk through the main street, the South Cardo, in the well preserved Ancient Roman city of Gerasa, in the city of Jerash, Jordan, November 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

He was arrested immediately afterwards and charged with terrorism offences in January last year.

The charge sheet alleges that Abu Ruwais “follows the ideology of the Daesh terrorist gang”, a pejorative reference to the Islamic State jihadist group, and has been “in contact with one of the members of this organisation in Syria” who gave the green light for the attack.

But there was never any formal claim of responsibility for the attack.