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Jordan cautiously welcomes Israel probe into embassy killings

Investigation should be followed by legal action, minister says

By Mohammad Ghazal - Aug 05,2017 - Last updated at Aug 05,2017

AMMAN — The government on Saturday cautiously welcomed an Israeli investigation into the fatal shooting near the Israeli embassy in Amman last month. 

"We think this is a step in the right direction... We expect judicial action to follow in line with the international laws relevant to these cases. Justice must be served," Minister of State for Media Affairs, Mohammad Momani, told The Jordan Times on Saturday.

While describing the probe as a “positive step”, the minister, however, said that what matters is for the probe to lead to “tangible judicial steps”. 

Momani also emphasised that Jordan wants to protect the rights of the Jordanians who were killed in the shooting.

On Friday, the Israeli ministry of justice announced that Israel’s state prosecutor's office has asked the Israeli police to investigate last month’s fatal shooting of two Jordanians by an Israeli embassy security guard in Amman.

The announcement noted the possibility of requesting additional information from the Jordanian police, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The ministry emphasised that the decision was made after consulting Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit. In addition, the ministry stated that the investigation would be carried out with the assistance of the state attorney’s office.

The embassy said the purpose of the police investigation, among other things, was to examine how necessary and justified the security guard’s actions were in shooting dead the two Jordanians. The state prosecutor’s office had already collected some evidence on this matter, which was transferred to the police today.

Sixteen-year-old Mohammad Jawawdeh was killed on July 23, along with Bashar Hamarneh, a doctor, by an Israel embassy employee at a residential building rented by the Israeli embassy in Amman. The killer, who shot both Jawawdeh and Hamarneh, left Jordan to Israel, protected by his diplomatic immunity, provoking widespread public anger in Jordan. 

On his return to Tel Aviv, the guard was warmly welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with the footage of the encounter triggering further anger among the public in Jordan.

During a visit by His Majesty King Abdullah to the condolences tent of the Jawawdeh family in south Amman, one video showed Jawawdeh’s father saying that His Majesty reassured him that he would make sure that justice is served and the rights of the victims and their families would never be compromised, reiterating remarks His Majesty made earlier in the day while chairing the National Policies Council. 

After the incident, the government tasked Justice Minister Awad Mashagbeh to follow up on the Israeli embassy case as part of a motion to “achieve criminal justice”.

The government also formed a team comprising Mashagbeh, State Minister for Legal Affairs Bisher Khasawneh and a legal representative from the Foreign Ministry to “recommend a strategy for well-planned legal action at all levels, including internationally if necessary, and to be prepared for the stage that follows the Jordanian prosecution’s completion of the investigation, the trial and the verdict”. 


The prosecutor general has indicted the killer and recommended legal action within the available channels. 

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