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Israeli Embassy Staff, Including Guard Who Killed Attacker, Return From Jordan

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The members of Israel’s diplomatic mission in Amman, Jordan, including a security guard who shot and killed his teenage assailant and a bystander, are back in Israel.

The embassy employees, who had been confined to the embassy compound all day Monday following the stabbing attack Sunday evening by a 17-year-old and subsequent shooting, returned to Israel late Monday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah spoke that afternoon by telephone. Abdullah told Netanyahu to remove the metal detectors placed at the entrances to the Temple Mount used by Muslim worshippers, put into place after three Arab-Israelis killed two Druze-Israeli police officers in a July 14 terrorist attack near the Al-Aqsa mosque.

Israel’s Security Cabinet met for several hours Monday evening in an effort to resolve the crisis over security measures on the Temple Mount and the escalating diplomatic crisis with Jordan.

In the attack Sunday, the assailant entered a residential building occupied by the embassy to install furniture and stabbed the Israeli guard with a screwdriver. The guard shot and killed the assailant. The building’s owner, who was standing nearby, was killed after being hit by a stray bullet.

Jordanian police had demanded to question the guard, while relatives of the stabber called for the death penalty. The embassy refused to turn the guard over to the Jordanians for questioning, saying he had immunity.

Jordanian security forces reportedly held mobs of protesters who had gathered at the embassy at bay following the incident.

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