Jordan hounds Israel over released embassy guard

After setting free an Israeli embassy guard who eliminated a terrorist in Amman this week, Jordan appeared to regret the decision and now seeks “justice.”

Tensions continue to mount after Jordan released an Israeli embassy guard who killed a terrorist in the midst of a stabbing attack in Amman this week.  While Jordanian officials initially refused to let the guard return to Israel, he eventually came home, where he received a warm welcome from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In response to Netanyahu’s praise for the guard, whom the prime minister said acted “calmly,” the Jordanian King, Abdullah II, announced to senior Jordanian officials that Netanyahu must “guarantee the trial of the murderer,” AP reported. Ayman Safadi, Jordan’s foreign minister, also joined the chorus of calls for “justice” in the case. Safadi called Israel’s handling of the guard’s return a “disgrace,” commenting, “It would be appropriate if Israel acted diplomatically.”

The guard’s reception in Israel obviously rankled Jordanians, with protests launched in various cities in the country. In response, Jordanian officials demanded that Israel prosecute the security guard. Threatening “legal action at all levels, including internationally if necessary,” according to the Jordan Times, officials also made it known that they expect Israel to keep the guard in custody while investigating the circumstances surrounding the attack.

King Abdullah weighed in on the controversy, claiming Israel displayed “unacceptable and provocative behavior” with regard to its handling of the terrorist attack in Amman, according to AP . In addition to the death of the 17-year-old terrorist, who mounted the stabbing attack as he delivered furniture, a bystander also lost his life during the episode.

While Jordan complied with the requirements of diplomatic immunity by releasing the guard, officials there have since gone into damage control in a nation in which officially cooperating with Israel remains highly unpopular. This climate leaves the Jordanian government walking a tightrope between adhering to the terms of the nation’s 1994 peace treaty with Israel and placating a population that harbors intense hostility toward the Jewish state.

By: World Israel News Staff