Amid crisis with Jordan, Netanyahu vows to bring embassy guard home

Netanyahu pledged to bring home the security guard in Jordan who was wounded in an attack, an incident which has developed into a diplomatic crisis.  

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to bring home the security guard at Israel’s embassy in Jordan who was wounded during an attack on Sunday night back to Israel.

After being stabbed, the guard opened fire, killing the 17-year-old terrorist of Palestinian origin. The Jordanian owner of the one of the residences in which the attack occurred, who was present at the time of the attack, was inadvertently hit by gunfire and later died.

Speaking on Monday at the start of his meeting with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Netanyahu said he spoke twice overnight with Israeli Ambassador to Jordan Eynat Schlein and with the security guard.

“I gained the impression that she [Schlein] is managing matters there very well,” Netanyahu said. He assured the security guard that Israel will ensure his return to Israel.

“We have experience in this,” Netanyahu added, relating to another incident in 1997 in which two Mossad agents were caught trying to assassinate senior Hamas official Khaled Mashaal in Amman. Both agents returned to Israel after a short diplomatic crisis.

Jordan is demanding to question the guard, but Israel has refused, citing the Vienna Convention, which gives the security officer immunity from investigation and imprisonment.

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“We have started a large-scale investigation into the incident and ordered the prosecutor general to look at all the details,” Jordanian police said in a statement. Security forces were deployed in the streets around the embassy, and its 30 employees are now in complete lockdown.

“I told both of them that we are holding ongoing contacts with security and government officials in Amman, on all levels, in order to bring the incident to a close as quickly as possible,” Netanyahu stated

Jordanian Ambassador to Israel Walid Obeidat, asked to assist in the matter, arrived at the Foreign Ministry on Monday morning.

“We are also holding contacts on various other channels with one objective – to bring the incident to a close and to bring our people to Israel. And we are doing this determinedly and responsibly,” Netanyahu underscored.

The incident comes at a time when Israel and Jordan are conducting intense negotiations related to the mounting Temple Mount situation. Jordan is the Muslim custodian of the site.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News