Jordan mourners chant 'death to Israel' after deadly embassy shooting

Mourners attend the funeral of 17-year-old Mohammed Jawawdeh, who was killed on the weekend when he attacked a security guard at the Israeli embassy compound in the Jordanian capital with a screwdriver, on July 25, 2017, in Amman.
Mourners attend the funeral of 17-year-old Mohammed Jawawdeh, who was killed on the weekend when he attacked a security guard at the Israeli embassy compound in the Jordanian capital with a screwdriver, on July 25, 2017, in Amman.PHOTO: AFP

AMMAN (AFP) - Thousands of Jordanians chanted "death to Israel" as they attended the funeral Tuesday (July 25) of a teenager shot dead by an Israeli embassy security guard.

Mohammed Jawawdeh, 17, was killed Sunday after he assaulted the guard with a screwdriver at the embassy compound, according to Israeli officials.

A second Jordanian was also killed, apparently by accident, and will be buried Thursday.

The killings sparked a standoff between Israel and Jordan amid tensions over a highly sensitive Jerusalem holy site where Israel imposed new security measures after a deadly mid-July attack on police.

Mourners set off with Jawawdeh's coffin from Wihdat city, home to a large Palestinian refugee camp east of Amman, towards the cemetery in nearby Umm al-Hiran, where he was buried.

They carried pictures of the 17-year-old along with Palestinian and Jordanian flags, and chanted "Death to Israel".

"We will go to Jerusalem as martyrs by the millions," they chanted.

Jawawdeh's uncle, Sami, said the family is urging Jordan's King Abdullah II to avenge his death "because he is the one who can decide in such matters".

"Mohammed's blood did not flow in vain," he added, saying it paved the way for Israel's removal early Tuesday of metal detectors at entrances to Jerusalem's Haram al-Sharif mosque compound.

Israel had installed the devices following a July 14 attack nearby that killed two policemen.

The move, seen by Palestinians as an attempt to assert Israeli control over the site, triggered Muslim outrage and deadly violence.

Jordan is the official custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

King Abdullah of Jordan spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu late Monday urging him to remove the devices.

Thousands of Jordanians had demonstrated against Israel in Amman and other cities, calling for "resistance" to "Zionist attacks" and demanding the cancellation of a 1994 peace treaty.

Also on Monday, the security guard and other diplomats flew home after Amman investigators heard "his account of the incident", a Jordanian government source said.

Jordanian riot police deployed Tuesday morning around the Israeli embassy in a western Amman residential neighbourhood after activists posted online calls for an anti-Israel demonstration.