Jordan: Israeli embassy officer attacked; government standoff ensues

Jordanian authorities demand the right to question an Israeli embassy security officer who killed an attacker and accidentally shot a bystander.    

An Israeli security officer at the embassy in Amman was stabbed late Sunday night by a Jordanian worker who had entered the embassy compound for routine furniture replacement.

The security officer, the Jordanian landlord and two Jordanian workers were present during the incident. One of the workers attacked and stabbed the Israeli security official with a screwdriver from behind.

The security official, who sustained light wounds, defended himself by firing at the terrorist.  The terrorist was hit, and the landlord was accidentally shot and wounded as well. The terrorist subsequently died of his wounds.

The Jordanian  Public Security Department (PSD) stated that the landlord was a doctor who happened to be on site when the incident occurred. He is the owner of the residential building affiliated with the embassy in the Rabieh neighborhood in west Amman.

Israel requested to have the officer rushed home, but Jordanian forces blockaded the embassy and are preventing Israeli embassy staff from leaving the premises while demanding to question the officer. Israel has so far denied the request.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry stated that in accordance with the Vienna Convention, the security officer has immunity from investigation and imprisonment.

Israel’s Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked likewise stated Monday morning that Israel would not agree to have the security officer questioned under any circumstances.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Eynat Schlein, Israel’s ambassador to Jordan, and with the security official.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it is working together with the security authorities and with the Jordanian government to resolve the crisis.

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.

Israel and Jordan signed a peace agreement in 1994, but the agreement remains deeply unpopular in the kingdom where many residents are of Palestinian origin. Jordan and Israel have close security ties, but frequently clash over Israeli policies.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News