Israeli source says ambassador Einat Schlein will be replaced in wake of Amman’s anger over handling of deadly June embassy shooting by Israeli guard who was attacked by screwdriver-wielding Jordanian in June; ‘The Jordanians don’t want her back, and this has been a big obstacle in patching things up.’
Israel plans to appoint a new ambassador to Jordan in a bid to calm Amman’s anger over the current envoy’s handling of a shooting by an embassy guard in July, an Israeli diplomatic source said on Wednesday. During July’s incident, an Israeli security guard shot and killed a Jordanian teenager who stabbed him with a screwdriver in the Amman mission compound, as well as the Jordanian landlord, who was killed by stray bullets.
Mossad Head Yossi Cohen has been reported to be the one carrying out negotiations on Israel’s behalf with Jordan, to return an Israeli ambassador to Amman.
A senior official confirmed that current Ambassador to Jordan Einat Schlein—who was photographed with the guard and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the Israeli mission was hastily called back—will not be returning to Amman. “The Jordanians don’t want her back, and this has been a big obstacle in patching things up.”
It has been further speculated that Israel will express regret over the death of the landlord, and that it will pay his family compensation.
Jordanian authorities say they suspect the shooting was unprovoked but could not investigate the guard due to his diplomatic immunity. A televized welcome he and Schlein received from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outraged Amman.
Since Schlein’s departure on July 24 the embassy has been shuttered, casting a pall over Israel’s ties with Jordan, a U.S-backed regional security partner and one of only two Arab countries that recognise Israel.
Emmanuel Nahshon, spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, declined comment on the case.
Israeli officials have said they were looking into the possibility of compensating the family of the second man caught in the crossfire.
They say it is highly unlikely Israel would prosecute the guard, as demanded by Jordan. His prospects of continued work in Israeli diplomatic security abroad were in doubt, however, after a Jordanian newspaper published his details.
Israel’s consulates in Turkey have been handling Jordanian applications for Israeli visas since the incident.
Despite the move, Israel has shown no sign of meeting Jordan’s demand that it launch criminal proceedings against the guard, who killed two Jordanians after one of them stabbed him with a screwdriver without provocation.
The Jordanian daily Al-Rad published shortly after the attack a picture and identity of the Israeli security guard, Ziv Moyal, 28, and his diplomatic identity card, delivering a blow to Israel which had censored the publication of his details.