Israel's Jordan embassy to resume full operations following Israel's apology
Jordanian government spokesman says Israeli government officially apologized over the incident at the Israeli embassy in Amman last July, as well as for the killing of a Jordanian citizen in March of 2014; PMO: 'The Israeli Embassy in Jordan will return to full activity effective immediately.'
Jordan said on Thursday that Israel had formally apologized for the deaths of two of its citizens killed by an Israeli security guard last July in an incident that has soured ties and led to the closure of the Israeli embassy in Amman, state media said.
Government spokesman Mohammad al-Momani was quoted by state news agency Petra as saying the Israeli Foreign Ministry had sent a memorandum in which it sent its "deep regrets and apologies" over the incident at the embassy and said Israel pledged to take legal steps in the case.
Al-Momani added that Israel also apologized over the killing of Jordanian citizen Raed Zeiter at the Allenby crossing in March of 2014.
The IDF initially said that Zeiter, a judge of Palestinian origin, was shot to death after allegedly attacking soldiers at the crossing and attempting to snatch the weapon of one of them.
But his family, witnesses, and Palestinian rights groups refuted the army's account, saying he was killed during a row with the soldiers.
"Israel and Jordan reached an agreement following the events at the Jordanian embassy and over the incident in which the Jordanian judge was killed," The Prime Minister's office announced. "Israel attaches great importance to its strategic relations with Jordan, and the two countries will act to advance their cooperation and to strengthen the peace treaty between them.
"The Israeli Embassy in Jordan will return to full activity effective immediately. The authorities in Israel will continue to examine the materials collected in connection with the event in July 2017, and are expected to reach a decision in the coming weeks.
Diplomatic sources said that a new ambassador would be appointed to replace Einat Shlain, who would not return to her post in Jordan.
The spokesman also claims that Israel has undertaken to take the necessary legal steps regarding the incident in 2014 and to compensate the family of the judge.
Jordan had said it will not allow Israel to reopen its embassy in Amman until it has launched legal proceedings against the Israeli security guard.
Jordan maintains that even if the guard had diplomatic immunity that did not mean he could not be punished.
The embassy was closed shortly after Israel hastily repatriated the guard under diplomatic immunity to prevent Jordanian authorities interrogating him and taking any legal action against him. The Israeli ambassador and embassy staff were pulled out.
Israel said the armed guard opened fire after being attacked and lightly wounded by the workman, who was delivering furniture at his home within the embassy compound, and acted in self-defense, in what Israeli officials initially called a "terrorist attack."
According to a statement by Jordan's General Intelligence Directorate (GID), while two people began work to install furniture, an argument broke out between the workman—the son of the furniture shop owner—and the guard—an Israeli embassy employee who lives in the apartment.
The argument, according to the GID, was over a delay in completing the work at the time agreed upon, and took place while the landlord and the building's security guard were present.
At the heat of the argument, according to the Jordanians, the son of the furniture shop owner attacked the Israeli diplomat, who was wounded, and the latter responded by opening fire at the worker, wounding him and the landlord who was nearby.