Report: Israel pays $5 million to reopen embassy in Amman

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Sun, 21 Jan 2018 - 11:17 GMT

Jordanian riot police confront protesters during a demonstration in front of the Israeli Embassy in Amman- AFP/Khalil Mazraawi

Jordanian riot police confront protesters during a demonstration in front of the Israeli Embassy in Amman- AFP/Khalil Mazraawi

CAIRO – 22 January 2017: The Israeli embassy in Amman is expected to reopen soon after reaching an agreement with the Jordanian authorities who had previously rejected the reopening of the embassy multiple times before meeting the Jordanians’ three conditions.

Jordan managed to achieve a great breakthrough in their diplomatic battle to reach justice and Jordanians’ rights in regards to the so-called Israeli embassy accident in Amman and the murder of Judge Raed Zeiter.

Israel was forced to meet the Jordanian terms and submitted an official memorandum to the Jordanian foreign ministry on Saturday, stating that the Israeli authorities have fulfilled the three Jordanian conditions required to accept the return of the Israeli diplomatic mission on Jordanian territory.

The three Jordanian conditions

According to the Israeli memo, the Israeli government officially apologized for the Israeli embassy’s “crime” and the murder of Judge Raed Zeiter. This formal apology was the first condition required by Amman.

The second condition was referral of the Israeli embassy’s guard to the court to stand on trial after he had shot two Jordanian citizens last July. The memo stressed that Israel met that condition too.

Jordanian Al-Ghad newspaper’s sources revealed that the Israeli government paid $5 million to the families of the embassy’s victims. Three families received the money; $1,650,000 for each family.

“The three families accepted the Israeli government’s apology and compensation,” the sources added to the Jordanian paper.

The financial compensation was the third condition met by Israel. “We will never give up on any of our conditions and the embassy’s accident and the murder of Zeiter will directly affect our relationship with Israel,” said King Abdullah II on July 26, 2017.

Zeiter’s murder in 2017

On March 10, 2017, Judge Raed Zeiter was shot dead by Israeli soldiers at the Allenby Bridge border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan. Israeli soldiers claimed that Zeiter, a Palestinian with Jordanian citizenship, was a terrorist, alleging that he had tried to snatch soldiers’ weapons.

The Israeli prime minister issued a statement of regret; however the Jordanian king rejected it, insisting on a formal apology.

The Israeli apology in 2018 is an official recognition of guilt by the Israeli authorities after roughly four years of neglect.

Israeli embassy shooting incident

On July 23, 2017, the deputy director of security at the Israeli Embassy in Amman killed two Jordanians. The shooting was a matter of dispute between Tel Aviv and Amman.

The Israeli foreign ministry said the guard was attacked and then shot and killed the attackers, while the Jordanian government denied the Israeli story.

Jordan refused the return of the Israeli ambassador and her staff unless Israel provides an official guarantee that the guard will stand on trial, stating that the incident was a crime.

According to the Israeli memo, the Israeli staff will be replaced. “I will decide soon who will be the ambassador to Jordan... I appreciate our former ambassador’s efforts that she exerted in Amman,” stated Netanyahu on Saturday.

On Friday, the Israeli government announced it will reopen its embassy in Amman after reaching consensus with the Jordanian government.

On Sunday, Jordan’s King Abdullah II held talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Amman, reiterating that East Jerusalem has to remain the capital of the Palestinian state.

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