US/World News

Israel appoints ambassador to Jordan, ending diplomatic standoff

(JTA) – Israel has appointed a new ambassador to Jordan, ending a volatile chapter in relations between the two countries. The announcement by the Israeli Foreign Ministry on Feb. 8 of Amir Weissbrod’s appointment comes weeks after Israel and Jordan agreed on the resolution of deadly incidents in July that shut down the work of the Israeli Embassy in Amman. The appointment of Weissbrod, an Arabic-speaking career diplomat who has served previously in Jordan, must be approved by the Cabinet. In July, embassy security officer Ziv Moyal shot two Jordanians dead after one of them allegedly attacked him. The ensuing diplomatic crisis between Jerusalem and Amman prompted diplomatic staff, including Ambassador Einat Schlein, to return to Israel. Reportedly the deal to resolve the diplomatic standoff included an understanding that Schlein would not return to Jordan. Jordan has demanded that Moyal be brought to justice for the deaths of the two Jordanians. In January, Jordanian government spokesman Mohammad Momani said Israel apologized for the incident and said it would bring legal action against Moyal while offering financial compensation to the families of the two people killed, as well as a Jordanian judge slain in 2014 by Israeli security officers at the Allenby border crossing. The countries also reportedly were mired in diplomatic controversy over the slaying, for which Israel has already apologized. Earlier this month, the embassy reopened but without an ambassador.

CAP: Amir Weissbrod

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