Jordan king lashes out at Israel PM over embassy deaths

Emerging from a mosque hundreds of meters (yards) away from the embassy, the protesters chant "Death to Israel" and "No Zionist embassy on Jordanian soil", an AFP correspondent says.

It is one of the most serious incidents to affect ties between the two countries since they signed a peace treaty in 1994.

Jordan has charged an Israeli embassy guard with murder for shooting dead two Jordanians at the embassy compound in Amman last week, Jordan's official news agency Petra reported on Friday.

Muslim leaders claimed Israel was trying to expand its control at the site under the guise of security, a claim Israel emphaticlly denied.

It said the measure will "ensure the security of visitors and worshippers" at the holy site and in Jerusalem's Old City.

The Israeli government has refused to allow the guard to be questioned by police.

The incident comes in synchronization with escalations in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem, after Israel installed electric gates around the Al-Aqsa mosque, where two Israeli policemen were killed at the site by gunmen for the provocative settler visits to the mosque.

He noted that Jordan is making tremendous efforts in cooperation with the Palestinian government aimed at restoring normalcy and cancelling the unilateral measures taken by Israel. Jordan said the worker was there to "do carpentry".

With the guard protected by diplomatic immunity, Israel was able to repatriate him on Monday.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Netanyahu gave a personal audience to the guard, whose name has only been released as Ziv, praised him for acting "well and calmly" and told him that he "represents the State of Israel and Israel doesn't forget that for a moment".

The landlord of the apartment rented by the Israeli embassy where the incident happened - Bashar Hamarneh - was mistakenly killed by an embassy guard following a stabbing attack.

He could be prosecuted in Israel if police find cause to do so, police said.

The dead Jordanian was killed by a gunshot, while the two wounded people including an Israeli were taken to hospital.

As a member of the embassy staff, Ziv enjoyed diplomatic immunity and thus was not subject to prosecution, and Amman has stressed that they complied with worldwide law by allowing him, along with the rest of the Israeli embassy staff, to leave the country.

Israel's security cabinet met on Sunday to review the decision to install metal detectors in the wake of escalating tensions with the Muslim world.

  • Jon Douglas