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Israeli ambassador to Jordan takes up his post, ending months-long spat

Binyamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah in Amman in 2014 [Getty]

Date of publication: 16 April, 2018

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The previous ambassador hurriedly left Amman in July after an embassy security guard shot and killed two Jordanian men.

Israel's new ambassador to Jordan arrived in the capital Amman on Monday, ending a months-long spat between the two countries over a deadly embassy shooting. 

Amir Weissbrod's posting ends one of the tensest periods between Israel and Jordan since the two signed a peace treaty in 1994. 

The dispute began last July when a security guard at the Israeli embassy in Jordan shot and killed two Jordanians, alleging one attacked him with a screwdriver. Israel's previous ambassador, Einat Schlein, along with the security guard, hurriedly left Amman on July 23 after the incident.

The Israeli guard and Schlein were given a hero's welcome by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, infuriating Jordan.

On January 18, Israel and Jordan reached an agreement on reopening the Israeli embassy. The terms of the agreement stipulated that neither Schlein nor the guard would return to the country.  

Commenting on the deal at the time, Jordan's government spokesman Mohammed Momani said Israel agreed to all of Jordan's preconditions for resuming diplomatic relations, including pressing legal charges against the security guard. However, an Israeli diplomatic source told Reuters soon after that the guard would not be prosecuted.  

Israeli officials have already reportedly paid reparations to Jordan, but not the families of the two men killed. It is unclear how much was disbursed. 

Weissbrod was named the new Israeli ambassador in February. The new envoy is a fluent Arabic speaker who previously worked at Israel's Jordan embassy between 2001 and 2004, the Times of Israel reported. 

The Israeli embassy began gradually reopening in February.


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