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Jordan says ‘not officially notified’ of new Israeli ambassador

By Mohammad Ghazal - Feb 08,2018 - Last updated at Feb 08,2018

AMMAN — Jordan was not officially notified about Israel's naming of a new ambassador to Amman, a government official said on Thursday.

"We have not been officially notified about the naming of a new Israeli ambassador to the Kingdom," the official told The Jordan Times on Thursday.

Jordan and Israel are going ahead with all preparations to reopen the Israeli embassy, prepare for the return of Israeli embassy staff to Amman and resume relations, the source said.

On Thursday, Israel named a veteran diplomat to Jordan, Agence France-Presse  reported.

The Israeli foreign ministry named Amir Weissbrod as the new ambassador, according to the news agency.

Weissbrod has reportedly worked as a diplomat in Amman and is an expert in Middle East affairs and Islamic movements. 

Earlier in January, Israel officially apologised for an incident when an Israeli embassy guard killed two Jordanians, and the killing of Jordanian Judge Raed Zuaiter by Israeli troops in 2014, while crossing to the West Bank.

The Foreign Ministry of Jordan said then it had received an official memo from Israel’s foreign ministry in which “the Israeli government expressed its apology and deep regrets regarding the Israeli embassy incident in July last year, resulting in the martyrdom of two Jordanian citizens, and also regarding the incident of Judge Raed Zuaiter killing”.

In the memo, Israel officially pledged to carry on with legal action related to the embassy incident and “promised to provide financial compensation for the families of the three martyrs”. 

In the letter, Tel Aviv expressed its keenness on resuming cooperation with Jordan and settling these files.

In response, Amman announced that it would “take the appropriate measures that serve national interests” in response to the Israeli memo, especially since the Israeli government accepted, as indicated in the letter, all the conditions set by Jordan to allow the return of its ambassador to Amman.

On July 23rd last year, 16-year-old Mohammad Jawawdeh was killed, along with Bashar Hamarneh, a doctor, by the embassy employee at a building rented by the embassy for its staff. The killer, who shot both Jawawdeh and Hamarneh, left Jordan to Israel protected by his diplomatic immunity, a matter which triggered 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 insulting the sentiments of Jordanians.

In March 2014, Zuaiter, a judge at the Amman Court of First Instance, was killed at King Hussein Bridge during an argument with an Israeli soldier.  

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