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Jordan's king calls on Israel to try guard who killed two Jordanians

King Abdullah said the way the incident was handled would affect ties between the two countries
The funeral for Mohammed Jawawdeh, one of the two Jordanians shot dead, was held on Tuesday (Reuters)
By Reuters

Jordan's King Abdullah called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday to put on trial an embassy security guard who shot dead two Jordanians. He said the way the incident was handled would affect ties between the two countries.

In a statement, the Jordanian monarch said Netanyahu's behaviour towards the security guard, whom he embraced in a hero's welcome on his return to Israel under diplomatic immunity, was "provocative on all fronts and enrages us, destabilises security and fuels extremism".

"We demand that the Israeli prime minister abides by his commitment and takes all measures to ensure the trial of the killer and not to handle this like a political show to achieve personal political gains," he said.

In an incident testing already tense relations between the two neighbours, the guard on Sunday shot dead a Jordanian teenager at Israel's embassy in Amman and the landlord of the house in the compound where the security guard lived.

Jordanian police said on Monday that the security guard had fired on the teenager after the young man, who worked for a furniture firm and was delivering an order, got into a brawl and attacked him.

But they rejected Israel's account that he had used a screwdriver to stab the guard in what Israeli officials described as a "terrorist attack".

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Jordan had wanted to question the guard, but Israel said he had diplomatic immunity and repatriated him.

Abdullah vowed that the state would "do everything within its means" to get justice for the two slain Jordanians.

Jordan is one of two Arab states with which Israel has peace treaties. In what was a rare outburst against Israel, Abdullah also cited a previous incident in which a Jordanian judge was shot in March 2014 by an Israeli soldier while crossing a border crossing. No investigation was ever conducted.

"The way Israel handles the embassy case and the judge’s killing and other cases will have a direct impact on the nature of our relationship," Abdullah said.

Many Jordanians have criticised the authorities for handing over the security guard in what they said was an affront to national sovereignty. Lawmakers walked out of parliament in protest at what they saw as an inadequate response by the government.

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