Two Jordanians killed in shooting at Israeli embassy in Amman

A diplomatic standoff between Israel and Jordan over a deadly shooting at Israel's embassy in the kingdom once again tests the strategic, if turbulent ties forged in a 1994 peace treaty.

The security guard at Israel's embassy in Jordan who found himself at the center of a diplomatic row between the two countries will be questioned by Israeli police on suspicion of manslaughter, Israeli news site Ynet reported on Wednesday.

The statement said the building was in the Israeli embassy compound, but the Israeli media reports indicated that the building was not part of the compound. Jordanian government officials were not immediately available for comment.

No doubt this extremely serious event will complicate the already strained relationship between Jordan and Israel, entangled in sensitive regional negotiations to resolve the Jerusalem Temple Mount crisis and stabilize the situation.

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

The staff of the Israeli embassy in Jordan have returned to Israel after an assault at the complex on Sunday. A second Jordanian was also injured in the incident and later succumbed to his wounds.

The Jordanian, 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. This included a security guard who shot dead two Jordanians after he was attacked by one of them.

The news of the emerging deal on Monday night had been preceded by a comment from Israel's United Nations ambassador Danny Danon, who told The Associated Press that he believes the standoff with Jordan over the killing of two Jordanians by an Israeli security guard near Israel's embassy in Amman will be resolved "shortly".

Thousands of Jordanians demonstrated against Israel in Amman on Friday over the installation of metal detectors at the Temple Mount.

The detectors were installed after two Israeli policemen were shot dead by three Arab-Israeli gunmen on July 14.

The following year clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces around the site quickly led to unrest elsewhere in Jerusalem, across Israel and in the West Bank that have continued intermittently till now. It has always been a flashpoint of anti-Israeli protests at times of turmoil in the Palestinian territories.

  • Joey Payne