Jordanian Media Outs Israeli Embassy Guard Involved in Amman Shooting

In a move that could be seen as provocative, al-Rai newspaper publishes a picture of the guard's diplomatic ID card

The Israeli guard's diplomatic ID card
The Israeli guard's diplomatic ID card

The identity of the Israeli security guard involved in the shooting incident at the Israeli embassy in Amman has been identified on Sunday by the Jordanian newspaper al-Rai as Ziv Hai Mordechai Moyal.

The paper published a picture of his diplomatic ID card. The Jordanian Foreign Ministry had issued it to him on August 10, 2016, and its validity is for one year.

Revealing the guard’s identity could be seen as a provocation by Jordan, especially after Israel explicitly refrained from releasing his name or publishing his picture.

The Jordanian press has been intensely covering last week’s incident, in which Moyal, attacked with a screwdriver, shot and killed his assailant, a carpenter installing furniture. His landlord was also killed in the shooting. Following the incident, 20 Israeli diplomats and guards hunkered down in the embassy compound in Amman.

Jordanian lawmakers are collecting signatures on a petition to expel the Israeli ambassador and close down the Israeli Embassy in Amman. That is unlikely to happen, say Jordanian sources, but return to business as usual will take time, and they expect Israel’s cooperation in the investigation.

Israel’s ambassador may not return to Jordan unless Israel conducts a serious, thorough investigation of the guard, an Israeli official said, confirming the official notice from Amman.

The Foreign Ministry says the Israeli prosecution is indeed investigating and will advise Jordan of its findings.

Meanwhile, the Jordanian prosecution has decided to charge Moyal with murder and possession of weapons without license, Jordanian public prosecutor Akram Musaid said, according to the Jordan News Agency. It intends to pursue charges in international courts, he said.

At the end of last week, Jordan’s King Abdullah II said the way Israel handles the guard will have direct implications on relations between the two countries and accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of exploiting the incident for political gain.