Israeli security guard Ziv presents his version on Jordan shooting incident
Security guard testifies on attack that left 2 Jordanians dead; political officials privy to initial investigation findings say it appears security guard acted properly; Israel apologizes to Jordan for the death of the Jordanian physician and promised to pay compensation.
As was promised by Israel to Jordan, the Israeli security guard Ziv, who shot and killed two Jordanians after being stabbed by one of them with a screwdriver, presented his version of the events on Thursday. According to Ziv, the attack was of nationalistic motivation. Investigators additionally began to review evidence from the scene, including photographs from security cameras that documented part of the incident.
This affair led to great tension and the fortification of the diplomatic team with the security guards, at the end of which the security guard was returned to Israel and Israel removed the security measures it placed on the Temple Mount after the attack in which two policemen were murdered. The investigation is being conducted by a joint team of the Israel Police, the Shin Bet security service and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The investigation is personally supervised by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan.
Contrary to the reports published in Jordan, Israel did not promise Jordan to prosecute the security guard, but the state is looking to investigate the affair in depth. Shin Bet Chief Nadav Argaman, who visited Jordan one day after the incident, has already begun an initial investigation of the incident, as well as the security department of the Foreign Ministry, which is responsible for securing the Israeli embassies abroad, and which also recruited the security guard Ziv.
A senior legal source said that since relations with Jordan are very tender at the moment, the Israeli investigation will be thorough and not cut any corners. At first, it was assumed that the Shin Bet will be heading the investigation, but in the end it was decided to hand it over to the police.
Political sources who were privy to the initial investigation said that it appears the security guard behaved properly under the circumstances after the 17-year-old Jordanian stabber tried to stab him with a screwdriver. The security guard was stabbed three times, twice in the back and once in the chest.
As for the Jordanian doctor, Bashar Al-Hamarna, who owned the apartment and was also killed in the incident, the findings of the initial investigation indicate that after the attacker crept up behind Ziv and began to stab him, he jumped back and fired his weapon. Ziv apparently tripped as he jumped back, which caused one bullet to hit the doctor, who was injured and later died of his wounds. The State of Israel apologized to the Jordanians for his death and undertook to pay the family financial compensation.
Jordanian King Abdullah II issued a statement following what he described as Israel's "unacceptable and provocative behavior" in connection with the deadly shooting incident at the Israeli embassy in Jordan, last Monday.
During Monday's incident, an Israeli security guard shot and killed two Jordanians after one of them, 17-year-old Zakaria al-Jawawdeh, attacked him with a screwdriver The second Jordanian was a landlord, and it remains unclear what if any role he played in the attack.
Israel's embassy staff, including the guard, left for Israel a day after the shooting. The incident has inflamed public opinion in Jordan where a 1994 peace treaty with Israel remains deeply unpopular.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the guard upon his return, saying he had acted "calmly." Netanyahu also took created a photo opportunity, as cameras snapped shots of him embracing the security guard pon his return to Israel.
Jordan's King Abdullah II told senior officials on Thursday that Netanyahu needs to take legal measures that "guarantee the trial of the murderer."
He said the incident "will have a direct impact on the nature of our relations."