Report: Jordan Mounts Diplomatic Offensive Against Israel

YERUSHALAYIM -
Jordanian police stand guard during a demonstration near the Israeli embassy in Amman, Jordan, July 28. (Reuters/Muhammad Hamed0

Diplomatic fallout from the deadly incident involving an Israel security guard in the embassy in Amman, continues with reports of a follow-up Jordanian campaign to discredit Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and lend support to the Palestinians.

While the Jordanian daily al-Ghad said on Sunday that the country is considering its “diplomatic options” against Israel over the incident, the London-based pan-Arabic paper Rai al-Youm reported that a multiple response has already been launched.

The Jordanians, reportedly infuriated by Netanyahu’s warm welcome for the security guard who killed two people while fending off a terrorist attack by one of them, plan to release details of the prime minister’s manipulative behavior.

The visit in coming days by King Abdullah to Ramallah without a stopover in Yerushalayim is calculated as a snub to the Israelis.

And, in what might be the most damaging step, the king reportedly sent a cable to Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman claiming that Netanyahu “mocks” the two Arab countries and seeks to influence their bilateral relations, and warning him against “an Israeli plot to spoil the cards.”

If true, such maneuvering could interfere with recent efforts on the part of Israel and the U.S. to bring Saudi Arabia into regional peace efforts.

There was no immediate comment from Israeli officials.

Meanwhile, Israel has promised a full investigation of the embassy incident. Jordan said the Israeli ambassador and staff would not be permitted back in Amman unless he were “put on trial.”

Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed Momani called Israel’s decision a “step in the right direction” over the weekend.

“We expect a complete follow-up on the legal procedure in accordance to international law relevant to these cases. Justice must be served,” he said.

While announcement of the probe appeared intended merely to placate the Jordanians, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit told ministers at a recent meeting that as a signatory to the Vienna Convention, Israel is required to investigate suspects upon their return from a host country that provided diplomatic immunity for charges against them, Yedioth Ahronoth reported. Mandelblit stressed that, as such, the inquiry is entirely routine.

Channel 2 reported Thursday that police were preparing to send a team to Jordan to gather material for the investigation.

“The investigation will be carried out with the assistance of the State Prosecutor’s Office, and later, in light of [the] findings that come up, the possibility of turning to the Jordanian authorities to request the transfer of additional materials will be weighed,” the Justice Ministry said in a statement Friday.