Israel and Jordan Agree to Reopen Embassy Following Tension Over July 2017 Shooting

“And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esav; and the kingdom shall be Hashem’s.” (1:21)

Israel and Jordan have announced that the Israeli embassy in Amman will reopen after nearly six months of strained relations following the deaths of two Jordanians in a July 2017 shooting at the embassy compound.

In a statement, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said it has reached an agreement with Jordan over the issue and that the embassy will reopen “immediately.”

“The Israeli authorities will continue reviewing the materials regarding the July 2017 incident and anticipate making a decision in the coming weeks. 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 statement said.

After he was allegedly attacked with a screwdriver last July, Israeli embassy security guard Zvi Moyal shot dead two Jordanians—his assailant and a bystander. At the time, Israel described the guard’s actions as “self-defense” and refused to release him into the custody of Jordanian authorities, while Moyal sought refuge in the Israeli embassy.

After a tense diplomatic standoff between the two allies, which included calls between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah as well as U.S. intervention, Moyal and the rest of the embassy staffers were allowed to return to Israel.

A Jordanian government spokesman, Mohammad Momani, also confirmed that the embassy will reopen and that Israel has agreed to comply with Jordanian preconditions for resuming full diplomatic ties, including to bring legal action against Moyal and offer financial compensation to the families of the Jordanians who were shot.

Additionally, Momani said that Israel has agreed to compensate the family of Raed Zeiter, a Jordanian judge killed in March 2014 at the Allenby Bridge border crossing.

“The [Jordanian] government will take appropriate measures in accordance with the supreme national interests in light of the Israeli memorandum, especially as it included a response to all conditions set by the government following the embassy incident in order so the [Israeli] ambassador may be returned, including all legal proceedings,” Momani said. 

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