Israel appoints ambassador to Jordan, ending diplomatic standoff over murders


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel has appointed a new ambassador to Jordan, ending a volatile chapter in relations between the two countries.

The announcement by the Foreign Ministry on Thursday of the appointment of Amir Weissbrod 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 in Jordan in the past, 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 apologized for the incident and said it would bring legal action against Moyal while offering financial compensation to the families of the three people killed.

The countries also reportedly were mired in diplomatic controversy over the 2014 slaying of a Jordanian judge by Israeli security officers at the Allenby border crossing. Israel has already apologized for the shooting of the judge.

Earlier this month the embassy reopened but without an ambassador.