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Security forces stand outside the Israeli embassy in the residential Rabiyeh neighborhood of the Jordanian capital, Amman.Getty Images
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Jordan Holds Israeli Diplomat Hostage After Terrorist Attack

Violating international law, Jordanian officials demand to investigate an Israeli security official who shot and killed a terrorist in self-defense

by
Liel Leibovitz
July 24, 2017
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Security forces stand outside the Israeli embassy in the residential Rabiyeh neighborhood of the Jordanian capital, Amman.Getty Images

An Israeli security official is being held hostage in Jordan after he shot and killed a terrorist who tried to stab him with a screwdriver on Sunday. Even though the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, ratified by both Jordan and Israel, specifically exempts the official from all criminal and civil charges, Jordanian authorities have opted to violate the international accord and demand that the official be handed over for questioning by the local police. He is currently in the Israeli embassy in Amman, which is surrounded by Jordanian soldiers and police.

The shooting happened Sunday morning at the home of an Israeli diplomat stationed in Jordan. The terrorist, 17, was admitted into the house to install some furniture when he suddenly turned and tried to stab the security official, who shot and killed his assailant in self-defense. Another Jordanian citizen, the building’s owner, died in the attack, most likely from being caught in the crossfire.

A senior official in Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot that the attack and Jordan’s decision to break with protocol and demand the security official be interrogated are both attempts to further the crisis that began earlier this month when three Palestinian terrorists murdered two Israeli police officers on Temple Mount. The attack led Israel to place metal detectors at the entrance to the site, an act Palestinian officialdom has portrayed as an Israeli attempt to wage war on one of Islam’s holiest spots. The Israeli government will meet this morning to discuss the crisis. Meanwhile, a 21-year-old Palestinian stabbed an Israeli man this morning in Petach Tikva, wounding him severely. When apprehended, the terrorist said “I did it for al-Aqsa.”

Liel Leibovitz is editor at large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One.

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