New Jordanian ambassador heads to Israel

New Jordanian ambassador heads to Israel

Ghassan Majali, who previously served as the Hashemite Kingdom’s envoy to Spain, slated to arrive in Tel Aviv on Monday, official Jordan source says

Adam Rasgon is the Palestinian affairs reporter at The Times of Israel

Ghassan Majali, Jordan's newly appointed ambassador to Israel. (Screen capture/YouTube)
Ghassan Majali, Jordan's newly appointed ambassador to Israel. (Screen capture/YouTube)

Ghassan Majali, Jordan’s newly appointed ambassador to Israel, will arrive in the Jewish state on Monday, an official source in Amman told The Times of Israel.

Former Jordanian ambassador to Israel Walid Obeidat recently left Tel Aviv after serving as Jordan’s envoy for more than five years.

In mid-September, Jordan officially announced the appointment of Majali, who previously served as the Jordanian ambassador to Spain, as its new top diplomat in Israel.

Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1994, but the two countries were embroiled last year in a diplomatic standoff following the shooting deaths of two Jordanians in July 2017 by an Israeli security guard, Ziv Moyal, who Israel said opened fire in self-defense after one of the men tried to stab him.

Jordanian security forces stand on guard in front of protesters during a demonstration near the Israeli embassy in the capital Amman on July 28, 2017, calling for the shutting down of the embassy, expelling the ambassador, and canceling the 1994 peace treaty with Israel. (AFP PHOTO / KHALIL MAZRAAWI)

Israel and Jordan reached an agreement to end the diplomatic fight in January, when a Jordanian government spokesperson said he had received from Israel an “official memorandum” apologizing for the deaths of the two Jordanians, as well as for the killing of a Jordanian judge in a separate incident in 2014.

The Jordanian spokesperson, Mohammad Momani, said at the time that Israel had agreed to comply with all the kingdom’s preconditions for resuming regular diplomatic relations between the two sides. Those included, he said, bringing legal action against the Israeli security guard and offering financial compensation to the bereaved Jordanian families.

Shortly afterward, the Prime Minister’s Office put out a statement announcing that the Israeli embassy, which was closed in the wake of the July 2017 incident, would reopen.

Diverging from the terms announced by Jordan, Israel ultimately decided it would not prosecute the guard, two Israeli sources told Reuters in January.

In addition to Jordan, Israel only has diplomatic ties with one other Arab country — Egypt, which currently does not have an ambassador posted in Israel. Former Egyptian ambassador to Israel Hazem Khairat recently left after serving for some two and half years.

In April, Amir Weissbrod, Israel’s new ambassador to Jordan, arrived in Amman.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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