Two Jordanians were killed in a shooting at the Israeli embassy in Amman on Sunday night, according to Jordanian and Israeli officials. An Israeli security guard opened fire after a Jordanian worker stabbed him, a local security official said. Jordanian police sealed off the scene and blocked access to the area.
In a statement released yesterday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said an embassy security officer shot dead a Jordanian worker replacing furniture at the embassy after the worker attacked him from behind with a screwdriver. The Jordanian landlord of the embassy compound was injured and later succumbed to his wounds, the ministry added. The statement did not say how the landlord was wounded. The Israeli officer was slightly injured in the incident.
Jordanian authorities confirmed the two deaths at the heavily fortified compound in the affluent Rabiyeh neighborhood of Amman.
Israel refused to allow the Jordanian authorities to question the embassy officer as he has immunity from investigation under diplomatic rules. However, the ministry said it was working with the local officials.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said they would seek to find an agreement, vowing to bring the guard home as soon as possible.
"We are holding contacts with Jordanian security and government officials in order to bring the incident to a close ASAP," he said in a statement. "I assured the security officer that we will see to bringing him back to Israel, we have experience in this."
A news website linked to the Jordanian military reports that Jordan is refusing to let an Israeli security guard who shot two Jordanians near the Israeli Embassy leave the country. Yesterday's report in Hala Akhbar says Jordan wants to investigate the shooter and if Israel refuses to allow that, it will take "diplomatic measures." The report gives the first indication from Jordan on a diplomatic standoff with Israel over the shooting. The incident came during a time of high tension in the Israel-occupied West Bank over metal detectors installed at the gates to East Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque. Jordan is the custodian of the mosque.