Report: Israeli Ambassador Won't Be Allowed to Return to Amman Until Guard Faces Trial

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Ambassador to Amman, Einat Schlein and the embassy security guard with Prime Minister Netanyahu
Ambassador to Amman, Einat Schlein, and the embassy security guard involved in the Amman shooting earlier in the week, meet with Netanyahu at the Prime Minister's Office, July 25, 2017.Credit: Haim Tzach/GPO

The Jordanian government is reportedly refusing to permit the Israeli ambassador to Amman, Einat Schlein, and her staff to return to Jordan unless Israel provides official guarantees that an Israeli security guard who shot and killed a Jordanian assailant and a bystander on Sunday near the Israeli embassy is put on trial. The demand was reported on Thursday by the Jordanian daily Al-Rad, but it has not been confirmed by Jordanian officials.

The assailant, Mohammed al-Juwaida, a 17-year-old Jordanian of Palestinian background, had come to the guard's apartment near the embassy to install furniture. A senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official said the attacker stabbed the guard in the back with a screwdriver. The guard shot and killed the attacker but also shot a bystander, the owner of the apartment, who later succumbed to his wounds.

Following the shooting, the guard fled to the embassy, which was put on lockdown with about 20 members of staff inside. After a visit to the Jordanian capital on Monday by the head of Shin Bet security service, Nadav Argaman, the Israeli government secured the return of all the embassy staff, including the guard, in an agreement with Jordan.

Fayez Tarawneh, the chief of staff of Jordanian King Abdullah, visited the family of Mohammed al-Juwaida, the assailant, on Wednesday to express the condolences of the king. Tarawneh said the Jordanian government, on instructions from the king, was working to address the shooting incident through international legal means.

Senior Jordanian officials  had expressed anger on Tuesday at the way Israel portrayed the attack at the Israeli Embassy in Amman, and at videos distributed by the Prime Minister's Office after Benjamin Netanyahu's met with Ambassador Einat Schlain and the security guard who was injured in the attack. 

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi claimed that Israel depicted the incident in a distorted and absurd way.

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