Newly-appointed Jordanian Ambassador Arrives In Israel

Jordan’s new ambassador to Israel, Ghassan Majali, reportedly arrived in the Jewish state on Monday to replace Walid Obeidat, who recently completed a five-year term. Despite signing a peace treaty in 1994, relations between the two countries remain fragile, with ties temporarily having been severed last year over a fatal shooting at the Israeli mission in Amman. In the incident, security guard Ziv Moyal killed a Jordanian who attempted to stab him with a screwdriver, whereas a civilian landlord was caught in the crossfire. Amman reacted with fury when Moyal was feted as a hero by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu upon his return to Israel, sparking a major diplomatic crisis at a time of already-heightened tensions surrounding an Israeli move to implement new security measures at the Temple Mount—known to Muslims as the al-Haram al-Sharif—atop which sits al-Aksa Mosque. Jordan, which is the custodian of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem, for twenty-four hours declined to evacuate Israel’s embassy personnel and thereafter refused to allow then-Israeli ambassador Einat Schlein to return to her post. There was a thaw in relations a few months later when the Israeli government apologized and agreed to pay compensation to the Jordanian victims, although Moyal has not been prosecuted as Amman demanded. Israel’s new ambassador to Jordan, Amir Weissbrod, presented his credentials to King Abdullah II in September, five months after arriving in the country. This comes as the head of Israel’s Labor Party Avi Gabbay on Monday met in Amman with the Jordanian monarch, as the two recommitted to forging a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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