New Jordanian ambassador to arrive in Israel within days

New Jordanian ambassador to arrive in Israel within days

Jordan earlier this week announced the appointment of Ghassan Majali, who previously served as envoy to Spain

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 in the coming days, according to an official source in the Jordanian capital.

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

Majali, who previously served as the Jordanian ambassador to Spain, will arrive in Tel Aviv “by the beginning of October,” the source in Amman told the Times of Israel.

Earlier this week, Jordan officially announced Majali’s appointment as its new top diplomat in Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and Jordan’s King Abdullah II, during the former’s surprise visit to Amman on January 16, 2014. (photo credit: AP/Yousef Allan/Jordanian Royal Palace)

Asked when Israel expects Majali to arrive in Tel Aviv, Emmanuel Nahshon, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, declined to comment.

Nahshon, however, confirmed that Jordan appointed Majali as its new ambassador to 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, who Israel said opened fire in self-defense after one of the men tried to stab him.

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.

Jordanian security forces stand guard outside the Israeli embassy in the residential Rabiyeh neighborhood of the capital Amman on July 23, 2017. (AFP/Khalil Mazraawi)

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, the statement said Israeli authorities would come to a decision “in the coming weeks” as to whether the guard, Ziv Moyal, would stand trial over the shooting. Israel later that month decided it would not prosecute Moyal, two Israeli sources told Reuters.

In addition to Jordan, Israel only has open 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 as Egypt’s top diplomat there 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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