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Netanyahu Orders Investigation into Shooting by Israeli Embassy Guard in Amman | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Policemen are seen near the Israeli embassy in Amman, Jordan July 23, 2017. Stringer/Reuters

Tel Aviv, Amman– In light of wide criticism, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the transfer of the file of the Israeli embassy security guard to the Shin Bet for investigation into the shooting of two Jordanian citizens.

Netanyahu’s spokesperson stated that Israel abides by international laws and is keen on maintaining relations with Jordan.

The move comes after Jordan’s insistence that Israel prosecute the security guard, identified as Ziv.

On July 23, Ziv shot and killed 17-year-old MohammedJawawde, who had entered the residential building to install furniture. Then, the building’s landlord doctor Bashar Hamarneh was killed after being hit by a stray bullet.

The investigation is being overseen by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also confirmed to Israeli media that Israel was launching a probe into the incident, in accordance with the appropriate legal proceedings.

Israel’s attorney general “gave instructions to implicated (Israeli) bodies to provide all elements in their possession concerning the incident”, a ministry spokesman said in a statement.

“Israel will inform Jordan of developments and information gathered during this procedure,” the spokesman said.

Israeli Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman told reporters that relations with Jordan are strong, confirming that the truth will be revealed.

When asked whether he supports Netanyahu embracing the security guard regardless of Jordan’s frustration, Lieberman said: “We should convey a message to our security guards that we support them even if they have done something wrong.”

Political sources in Tel Aviv said that Israel had informed Jordan of the preliminary results of the investigation which revealed that Jawawde tried to stab the security guard for political reasons, while Hamarneh was killed by mistake. Israel said it is willing to pay compensation for the Hamarneh family.

Jordan expects Netanyahu to apologize for his rude behavior, according to sources, adding that the Israeli embassy staff, who came back to Israel on Monday following the violent incident, would not be allowed to return to Amman until an investigation was opened.

On Thursday, Jordan’s Attorney General Akram Masaadeh charged the guard in absentia with two counts of murder and for bearing an unlicensed weapon, despite his diplomatic immunity.

The Ministry of Foreign and Expatriate Affairs received the case file from the Ministry of Justice and handed it to the Israeli government.

Jordan asked that the guard be prosecuted as per Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic ties for the crimes he committed.

Masaadeh said the embassy employee enjoyed diplomatic immunity, but this would not prevent him from being charged and stand trial in Israel.