Jordan: Embassy attack was over furniture delivery

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The shooting at the Israeli embassy in Amman over the weekend was the result of an argument over furniture delivery deadlines, Jordan’s public security directorate has said.

According to the security directorate, a Jordanian carpenter attacked and wounded an Israeli security guard following an argument on Sunday.

The guard then shot the Jordanian worker and the Jordanian landlord standing next to him, the public security directorate said.

The carpenter, who was in the embassy compound for routine furniture replacement, attacked the security official from behind by stabbing him with a screwdriver, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday. Israel said the security official was slightly wounded but defended himself.

The two Jordanian men later died in the hospital.

Jordanian security officials said they interviewed two witnesses, a second worker and the doorman of the building.

The investigation has been referred to the prosecutor general, the statement added.

Speaking to CNN Arabic, Zakaria Al-Jawawda, owner of the furniture store and father of the 17-year-old carpenter, said he rejected the accusation that his son stabbed the Israeli guard, demanding the trial of his “son’s killer.”

Jordan had briefly prevented the Israeli guard in question from leaving the country in the aftermath of the attack, though the diplomatic standoff was eventually resolved.

On Monday night, the embassy staff and the security guard returned to Israel, according to a statement from the Israeli Prime Minister’s office.

Security forces stand guard outside the Israeli embassy in the residential Rabiyeh neighbourhood of the Jordanian capital Amman on July 23, 2017.

The security guard, named only as Ziv, met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upon his return to Jerusalem.

“A weight has been lifted from my heart,” he said, according to a statement from the Israeli government. “Thank you from my heart. I am happy to be here,” he added.

Netanyahu, who spoke with Ziv as well as Israeli Ambassador to Jordan Einat Shlain, said Israel had an “obligation” to get the two out of Amman and back to Israel.

“I am happy to see you here and that things ended the way they did,” Netanyahu said.

“You acted well, calmly, and we also had an obligation to get you out. This was not even a question. It was only a question of time and I am pleased that it was short.

“You represent the State of Israel and the State of Israel does not forget that even for a moment.”

There had been speculation surrounding the motive for the attack.

Tensions soared last week after Israel installed metal detectors outside the entrance to one of Jerusalem’s holiest sites, known as the Temple Mount to Jews and the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims.

The decision was made in the aftermath of an attack at the site in which two Israeli police officers were killed.

The metal detectors were removed early Tuesday morning.

Read: Christian man prays with Jerusalem Muslims as religious tensions flare

A significant percentage of Jordan’s population is of Palestinian origin and a Jordanian religious authority, the Waqf, administers the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary.

On Friday, thousands of Jordanians took to the streets to protest the situation in Jerusalem.

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