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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Jordanian authorities continued to stoke flames of anger in the country by publishing the name and photograph of an Israeli security guard accused of killing a Jordanian national at the Israeli embassy on July 23.

El-Ghaad, a Jordanian newspaper named Ziv Moyal as the Israeli security guard involved in the incident that Israeli sources say was a terror attack and Jordanians say was a premeditated murder.

Israeli sources say that Moyal shot 17-year-old Mohammed Jawawdeh when the latter tried to stab him with a screwdriver while delivering furniture to the heavily-fortified Israeli embassy in Amman. But the Jordanian government believes the incident was no more than an “argument” during a routine carpenter’s call, and the Jawawdeh family has accused Moyal of murdering their son “in cold blood.”

Reports in Israel suggest the family has gone into hiding as a result of the exposure to avoid extra-judicial retribution from Palestinians with connections to the Jawawdeh family.

Still, Israeli officials and experts believe that Israel-Jordan relations will survive, despite the current crisis.

“Yes, the crisis is very real, but no, I don’t think it’s a threat to the relationship,” said Dr. Oded Eran, a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies and a former Israeli ambassador to Jordan. “Both sides are operating under intense domestic pressure – Jordan with respect to the more than 50 percent of the population that are Palestinians who aren’t exactly big lovers of Israel, and Israel following the stand-off for two weeks at the Temple Mount.

“But both countries have a strategic interest to preserve ties.

Eran also said that Jordanian sees its interest as not to appear weak or that the country bowed to Israeli demands. Even at “normal” times, the 1994 Jordan-Israel peace treaty is wildly unpopular amongst Jordanians, meaning that Amman must navigate the strategic interest in maintaining ties with Jerusalem – including the supply of 50 million cubic meters of water by Israel to Jordan per year – while also taking care not to make any moves that would lead to the Hashemite Kingdom to lose control of events.

That partly explains the strong support expressed by Jordan’s parliament speaker Atef Tarawneh following the Temple Mount. “May the mercy of Allah be upon our martyrs who sowed and watered the pure land. We will raise our heads through the sacrifice of the young Palestinians who are still fighting in the name of the nation,” Tarawneh said at the time.

On the other hand, Eran said Israel has its own interests – both maintaining the country’s standing at the Temple Mount and maintaining security there, all of which must be coordinated with Jordan, according to the terms of the 1994 treaty, and protecting the safety of an Israeli national accused of a crime.

Israel was right to bring Moyal home from Amman as soon as feasible, he said, but added that Prime Minister Netanyahu did not necessarily help matters by giving him a hero’s welcome.

“Yes, it is definitely an Israeli interest to make sure that a person who was involved in a terror attempt is able to come home peacefully. That happened, and that should end the story.

“But I’m not sure the prime minister had to give him such a public reception, even if he was 100 percent right that the guard’s actions were beyond reproach. Netanyahu should have considered how that looked in Jordan. It would have been so terrible for him to wait a little while?” Eran said. 

By: Andrew Friedman