Report: Israel Won’t Try Security Guard in Jordan Embassy Incident

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meets with Ziv Moyal, the Israeli guard who was stabbed in the Jordan embassy complex  at the Prime Minister’s Office. (Haim Zach GPO)

Israel will not try the security guard who shot a Jordanian citizen in 2017, a report in Reuters said. The report comes amid comments by Israeli officials that Israel had apologized to Jordan over the incident and agreed to pay reparations. Jordan had demanded that the security guard, Ziv Moyal, be tried as a condition for the reopening of the Israeli Embassy in Amman.

The report comes three days after the Prime Minister’s Office stated that Israel and Jordan had come to an agreement on the incident. Both countries “accepted an agreement over the incident at the Israeli Embassy in Jordan on July 23, 2017, and a separate incident in which in a Jordanian judge was killed on March 10, 2014. Israel’s embassy in Amman will resume operations immediately. Israeli authorities will continue their examination of the materials that were gathered in the July 2017 incident, and a decision will be made on what to do about them in the coming weeks. Israel has great regard for its strategic relationship with Jordan, and both countries will continue to cooperate to advance relations between them,” the statement said.

Jordanian media reports quoted the families of the two Jordanians as saying that Israel had paid some $5 million to them as part of the reparations agreement. Jordan has not commented on the Reuters report regarding Moyal’s trial.

In the incident, the Israeli security guard shot a 17 year old terrorist who attacked him while doing work in an apartment rented by the Israeli Embassy in Amman. Wounded in the incident – and eventually dying of his wounds – was the owner of the apartment. The guard immediately went to the embassy, with Jordanian officials demanding that he be surrendered. Israel refused, citing diplomatic immunity. After hours of negotiations, Jordan issued authorization for the security guard to leave. Under international laws and covering diplomatic immunity, Israel is required to question Ziv.

In the wake of that incident, mass riots were held in Amman against Israel, demanding that the guard be turned over to Jordanian authorities for trial. Jordanians rioted, and demanded that their government “punish” Israel by ripping up the 1994 peace treaty signed by the two countries. The Israeli diplomatic staff was instructed to leave, and has not returned since.

Jordanian officials said that they found especially upsetting a meeting after the incident between Moyal and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu embraced Moyal and promised to ensure his protection. The Prime Minister told Moyal that he was “happy to see you, and happy that things worked out. You acted appropriately – logically and with determination. We had an obligation to bring you home, and we did.” In an interview with Sky News after the incident, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman a-Safadi criticized that meeting, calling it “shameful and unacceptable. Any reception for this man should have been much more low-key.” He stressed that the Israeli ambassador would not be allowed back in Jordan until Moyal was put on trial for “murdering” two Jordanian citizens.

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