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No return of Israel embassy staff until killer faces justice — gov’t

By Mohammad Ghazal - Nov 02,2017 - Last updated at Nov 02,2017

AMMAN — Jordan on Thursday reiterated that it would not allow the reopening of the Israeli embassy in Amman and the return of its crew until an Israeli staffer who had killed two Jordanians is referred to a court of law.

"The reopening of the Israeli embassy and the return of its staff hinges on taking proper legal procedures against the Israeli staffer who killed the two Jordanians," Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani told The Jordan Times on Thursday.

On July 23rd, sixteen-year-old Mohammad Jawawdeh was killed, 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, 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.

“Jordan abided by the international law and allowed the staffer to leave as he enjoyed immunity…the ball is now in Israel’s field to abide by the international law,” Momani, who is also the government spokesperson, said.

Tel Aviv, he said, “should ensure that proper legal procedures are taken in this case”.

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

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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