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Jordan Says to Bar Israel Envoy until Shooting Probed

 

AFP

 

 Jordan will not allow the return of Israel's ambassador until the shooting of two Jordanians by an embassy security guard has been properly investigated, a government official said on Friday.

 
"Jordan will not allow ambassador Einat Shlein or the rest of the embassy staff to return until a thorough investigation has been opened" into Sunday's shooting, the official said, adding Jordan informed Israel of its decision.
 
Israel's foreign ministry late Friday said it had launched a "verification procedure" into the shooting.
 
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, without providing further details.
 
Hundreds of Jordanians held a protest earlier Friday near the Israeli embassy in Amman, calling on the government to shut it down, expel the ambassador and cancel the 1994 peace treaty with Israel.
 
Emerging from a mosque hundreds of meters (yards) away from the embassy, the protesters chanted "Death to Israel" and "No Zionist embassy on Jordanian soil", an AFP correspondent said.
 
On Thursday, King Abdullah II called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to try the guard, who traveled home on Monday night with other embassy officials after being briefly questioned by Jordanian investigators.
 
The guard was welcomed home and greeted as a hero by Netanyahu, who embraced him and said: "You acted well, calmly and we also had an obligation to get you out."
 
Israel maintained the guard had diplomatic immunity.
 
The Israeli foreign ministry said the security guard shot dead a Jordanian worker who had come to an apartment to install furniture and had stabbed him in the back with a screwdriver.
 
A second Jordanian, the landlord of the apartment, was also killed -- apparently by accident. He was buried on Thursday in Madaba, southwest of the capital.
 
A Jordanian police report released Monday said an argument had broken out with the Israeli complaining the Jordanians were late in delivering the furniture.
 
The Jordanian worker then attacked the Israeli who opened fire, "hitting him and the landlord who was standing next to him", it added.
 
Jordan's public prosecutor Akram Musaid charged on Thursday that the guard was responsible for the killings and possession of a firearm without a license.
 
Tensions in the region have been high over the past two weeks after Israel introduced new security measures at the highly sensitive al-Aqsa mosque compound in east Jerusalem, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, following an attack that killed two policemen.
 
The last of them were removed on Thursday.
 
Jordan is the official custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.
 
Jordan and Egypt are the only two Arab governments that have signed a peace treaty with Israel and established full diplomatic relations.
 

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