Jordan's PM Rejects Cutting Ties with Israel
Jordan’s Prime Minister on Tuesday rejected the possibility that his country would cut ties with Israel and expel the Israeli ambassador from Amman, despite demands to do so in the wake of the killing of a Jordanian judge by Israeli soldiers.
AFP reported that Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur made the comments during a discussion on a no-confidence motion, which he had managed to escape despite the fact that the motion was motivated by his government's allegedly weak response to the incident.
Nsur told the MPs the government "does not see that expelling the Israeli envoy and calling the Jordanian ambassador serve the path of our martyr’s case," state-run Petra news agency reported.
"If we go ahead with such moves, Jordan will face repercussions that would go beyond our sorrows... It will also affect Jordan's abilities concerning the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks," he added.
AFP reported that the 150-member lower house renewed its confidence in Nsur by an 81-29 vote, with 20 abstentions and 20 MPs absent.
Incensed by the shooting death of judge Raed Zeiter at a border crossing last week, MPs had demanded the government expel the Israeli ambassador and release Jordanian soldier Ahmad Daqamseh, who shot dead seven Israeli schoolgirls in the 1990s.
They have also demanded the government recall the Jordanian ambassador to Israel.
IDF soldiers shot and killed the judge, 38-year-old Raed Zeiter, at the Allenby border crossing after he attacked a soldier and tried to grab his weapon.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu later expressed regret for the shooting but stopped short of apologizing to Jordan.
President Shimon Peres on Monday issued an apology to Jordan’s King Abdullah II over the incident.
"On behalf of the State of Israel, I wish to express my deepest condolences to the people of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for the death of Judge Raed Zeiter at the King Hussein Bridge on March 10th," Peres stated.
"As the President of the State of Israel I would like to express compassion to the bereaved family, I share in their grief."
Peres’s apology came a day after King Abdullah visited Zeiter’s family to offer his condolences. The palace in Amman described Zeiter as “a martyr.”