Two killed in shooting at Israeli embassy in Jordan

US Ambassador to Israel condemns Halamish attack

In a statement released yesterday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said an embassy security officer shot dead a Jordanian worker replacing furniture at the embassy after the worker attacked him from behind with a screwdriver. Jordan wanted to question the guard, who was slightly hurt, but Israel said he had diplomatic immunity and should be repatriated.

The statement said the building was in the Israeli embassy compound, but the Israeli media reports indicated that the building was not part of the compound.

Israel and Jordan are bound by a 1994 peace treaty, but tensions have been high in recent days after Israel put in place security measures at the al-Aqsa mosque in annexed east Jerusalem.

The incident happens on the background of the Jerusalem Temple Mount terrorist attack and the following massive manifestations against Israel in the West Bank, Gaza and some Arab world countries, including Jordan.

A diplomatic standoff developed after Israel refused to turn over the embassy staff for questioning, citing the diplomatic immunity bestowed on them under worldwide law.

The Jordanian government is the official overseer of the Muslim holy sites occupying the Temple Mount, though security is supposedly in Israel's hands.

He said the Israeli was the deputy director of security at the embassy. The Israeli guard was lightly wounded.

The guard shot and killed the attacker. A second Jordanian, the owner of the building, was hit by gunfire and later died of his injuries.

A protest outside the Israeli Embassy in Amman.

A senior official on Tuesday described as "absurd" the Israeli reactions after a diplomat who killed two Jordanians on Sunday arrived back in Israel.

Muslim religious leaders have said that Israel is trying to expand its control at the site under the guise of security, a claim Israel denies.

Security cameras have now also been installed at a gateway leading to the site.

In September 2011, seven months after the popular uprising in Egypt, hundreds of protesters against Egypt's ruling generals, broke into the Israeli embassy in Cairo tearing down large sections of a security wall.

The incident came at the worst possible time for Israel, complicating efforts to find a way out of the standoff over the metal detectors at the Jerusalem site.

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