Embassy staff return to Israel

THE staff of Israel’s embassy in Jordan, including a security guard involved in a shooting incident in which two Jordanians were killed, returned to Israel from Amman on Monday, an official from the Israeli prime minister’s office said.

Sunday’s fatal shooting incident tested already tense relations between Israel and Jordan, one of two Arab states with which it had peace treaties.

Jordan had wanted to question the guard, who was slightly hurt, but Israel said he had diplomatic immunity and should be repatriated.

The security guard shot dead a Jordanian who stabbed him with a screwdriver in the Amman mission compound in an incident on Sunday night in which a Jordanian bystander was also killed, Israel said. Israel’s foreign ministry said the security officer had acted in self-defence when he shot his attacker, a workman at the embassy compound whose father said he was 16 years old and had no militant links.

The bystander appeared to have been killed accidentally, an official told Reuters.

Israeli media had said the guard was holed up in the fortress-like embassy along with the ambassador and other staff while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent an envoy to try to defuse the stand-off with the Jordanians.

“The return of the envoys was made possible thanks to close cooperation which was held in the past day between Israel and Jordan,” said Mr Netanyahu’s office.

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