Israel's Embassy in Jordan May Stay Closed

US Ambassador to Israel condemns Halamish attack

The crisis was triggered by a shooting on Sunday in which an Israeli embassy guard killed two Jordanians after one attacked him with a screwdriver.

The Jordanian, who was in the embassy compound for routine furniture replacement, attacked the security official from behind, by stabbing him with a screwdriver, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday.

On Friday, thousands of Jordanians protested in Amman against Israel over the installation of metal detectors outside a site sacred to both Muslims and Jews in East Jerusalem.

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

On Thursday, Jordanian King Abdullah II demanded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put the guard on trial, warning that the kingdom's ties with Israel would be affected by its handling of the case.

Israel has already agreed to pay damages to the family of the landlord who was killed during the terror attack.

A police statement said "a large scale investigation" has been launched and the Prosecutor General has been "ordered... to look at all the details".

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"The incident of the Israeli embassy is a criminal case and is dealt with in accordance with local and worldwide law", said Ayman Safadi.

The Turkish government has been paying to bus protestors to the Temple Mount from around the country, and pictures have circulated on social media in the last two weeks of Muslim protestors around the site waving Turkish flags.

The kingdom, a strong ally of Washington, is one of only two Arab countries to have diplomatic ties with Israel, with which it shares the longest borders.

The guard shot and killed the attacker.

In remarks to the press following the ministerial meeting, Safadi stressed that Jordan has been seeking to restore calm through Israel's commitment to its historical and legal responsibilities towards Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian holy sites. The embassy refused to turn the guard over to the Jordanians for questioning, saying he had immunity. Jordan and Israel have a peace agreement and share security interests, but frequently disagree over policies at the shrine.

The cabinet met late on Sunday to discuss the issue but no decision was made. It has always been a flashpoint of anti-Israeli protests at times of turmoil in the Palestinian territories.

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