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Jordanian mourners urge Amman to close Israeli embassy



Thousands of Jordanians have held a funeral ceremony for a teenager recently killed by an Israeli embassy guard, chanting anti-Tel Aviv slogans and urging the government to close down the regime’s mission in Amman.

On Tuesday, the protesters chanted, “Death to Israel” and “No to an Israeli embassy or ambassador on Jordanian land!” as they carried the coffin of 16-year-old Mohammad Jawawdah.

The protesters carried pictures of the teenager along with Palestinian and Jordanian flags, also urging Amman to scrap its unpopular 1994 peace treaty with Tel Aviv. Aside from Egypt, Jordan is the only country to have made such a deal with Israel.

The guard opened fire last Sunday, killing the teenager, whom he said had attempted to attack him with a screwdriver. A passerby was also killed in the assault.

Jawawdah had come to the diplomatic premises to install furniture, and his father has described him as “not a trouble-maker or a terrorist” and not affiliated with any political party.

 The father of 17-year-old Mohammed Jawawdeh, who was killed by an Israeli embassy guard in Amman, mourns over his son’s body in the Jordanian capital, July 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)


Jordan initially barred the staff of the mission from leaving the country pending a probe, but it later decided against looking into the incident after intervention by the United States, sending the guard alongside other embassy personnel back to Israel.

The intervention saw Trump dispatching his Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, to Israel on Monday, and then to Jordan to address the incident.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu later thanked Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner for helping to bring the embassy staff back home as well as Jordan’s King Abdullah “for our close cooperation.”

Embracing the killer

Also on Tuesday, Israeli media showed a smiling Netanyahu embracing the guard. He said Tel Aviv had a “commitment to get you out, that was never a question.”

The main Jordanian political opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood, blasted the authorities for handing him over, saying the move was tantamount to an affront to national sovereignty.

“The Jordanian people were shocked by the death of two Jordanians in cold blood and instead of the government doing its duty toward its citizens, we were appalled by its protection of the killer and returning him without punishment,” the group said in a statement.

The developments come amid escalating tensions in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds over the fresh restrictive measures imposed by the Tel Aviv regime earlier this month on the entry of Palestinian worshipers in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Jordan is the custodian of the compound, which is revered by both Muslims and Jews.

Palestinian worshipers pray outside Jerusalem al-Quds’ Old City on July 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Israel fully closed off the site to Muslims after a shootout on July 14 near the site that left two Israeli soldiers and three Palestinians dead. The regime then barred men under 50 from entering the site and installed metal detectors at its entrances.

Facing international condemnations, Israeli authorities on Tuesday removed the metal detectors at the Bab al-Asbat and Bab al-Nather entrances to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, but kept surveillance cameras to monitor Muslim worshipers.

However, Palestinians want the removal of all the restrictions on the compound.

Palestinian rage at the restrictions has sparked confrontations with Israeli forces, which has so far killed at least four Palestinian civilians and injured more than 1,090 others, according to Amnesty International.

Israel’s High Court ordered on Tuesday that the Israeli police return the bodies of the Palestinian victims of the shootout to their families. It, however, refused to allow autopsy on the bodies, against the survivors’ will.

Iran reacts to Israeli violations

At a Wednesday UN Security Council general session, Es’haq Al-e-Habib, the deputy permanent representative of the Islamic Republic to the United Nations, slammed the Israeli restrictions as  the latest instance of the regime’s illegal measures.

“Occupation, repeated violations of the rights of Palestinians and other countries, as well as the expansionist policies of the Zionist regime have continued over the past decades, and they have now intensified thanks to egregious support by the new US administration for the regime,” he asserted.

“Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands is at the center of all the crises in the Middle East, and whatever attempt at its rationalization is aimed at blurring the truth,” the envoy noted.

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