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Preparations under way to reopen Israeli embassy

By Mohammad Ghazal - Jan 31,2018 - Last updated at Jan 31,2018

AMMAN — An Israeli technical team is in contact with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to arrange for the reopening of the Israeli embassy in Amman, Minister of State for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Mohammad Momani said Tuesday.

The minister, who did not indicate the exact date for the reopening of the embassy, told The Jordan Times that the two sides were looking into all preparations and details to open the door for the return of Israeli embassy staff to Amman.

“The Israelis are in constant communication with the ministry in this regard,” Momani said.

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

The Foreign Ministry 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 killing Judge Raed Zuaiter”.

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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