Jordan mourners chant 'death to Israel' after embassy shooting

2017-07-25 19:03
Mohammed Jawawdeh’s father joins thousands of protesters in Amman. (Khalil Mazraawi, AFP)

Mohammed Jawawdeh’s father joins thousands of protesters in Amman. (Khalil Mazraawi, AFP)

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Amman - Thousands of Jordanians chanted "Death to Israel" on Tuesday as they attended the funeral of a teenager shot dead by an Israeli embassy security guard.

Mohammed Jawawdeh, 17, was killed on Sunday after he assaulted the guard with a screwdriver at the embassy compound in Amman, according to Israeli officials.

A second Jordanian was also killed, apparently by accident, and will be buried on Thursday.

The killings sparked a standoff between Israel and Jordan amid tensions over a highly sensitive Jerusalem holy site where Israel imposed new security measures after a deadly mid-July attack on police.

Mourners on Tuesday accompanied Jawawdeh's coffin from Wihdat city, home to a large Palestinian refugee camp east of Amman, towards the cemetery in nearby Umm al-Hiran where he was buried.

They carried pictures of the teenager along with Palestinian and Jordanian flags.

In addition to cries of "Death to Israel", they also chanted: "We will go to Jerusalem as martyrs by the millions."

Jawawdeh's uncle, Sami, said the family is urging Jordan's King Abdullah II to avenge his death "because he is the one who can decide in such matters".

Metal detectors 

"Mohammed's blood did not flow in vain," he added, saying it paved the way for Israel's removal early on Tuesday of metal detectors at entrances to Jerusalem's Haram al-Sharif mosque compound.

Israel had installed the devices following a July 14 attack nearby that killed two policemen.

The move, seen by Palestinians as an attempt to assert Israeli control over the site, triggered Muslim outrage and deadly violence.

Jordan is the official custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

King Abdullah spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu late on Monday and urged him to remove the metal detectors.

Thousands of Jordanians had demonstrated against Israel in Amman and other cities, calling for "resistance" to "Zionist attacks" and demanding the cancellation of a 1994 peace treaty.

Also on Monday, the security guard and other diplomats flew home after Amman investigators heard "his account of the incident" at the Israeli embassy compound, a Jordanian government source said.

No 'deals'

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told a news conference on Tuesday that Jordan did not strike "deals" or hold "negotiations" with Israel over the shooting.

He said the government had been intent on questioning the Israeli guard before allowing him to leave the country, "and despite his diplomatic immunity we were able to reach an agreement to take his deposition".

Jordan will pursue the investigation until "the truth is reached and justice is done", said Safadi, who was flanked at the news conference by the government spokesman and the state minister for legal affairs.

Meanwhile, riot police deployed on Tuesday morning around the Israeli embassy in a residential neighbourhood of western Amman after activists called online for an anti-Israel demonstration.

Some activists wanted a protest on Tuesday, but others said it should take place after the weekly midday prayers on Friday.

Read more on:    jordan  |  israel

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