Israeli shot, wounded in Jordan

JERUSALEM, Dec. 5 (JTA) – An employee of the Israeli Embassy in Amman was lightly wounded this week when gunmen opened fire on his car, the second Israeli diplomat shot in the Jordanian capital in less than a month.

Tuesday’s incident comes as anger is growing in the Arab world over Israel’s response to nine weeks of Palestinian violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said Shlomo Ratzabi was wounded in the leg after he left a food store in an upscale Amman neighborhood. He was taken to a local hospital, where his wounds were described as light.

The ministry described Ratzabi as an “embassy employee,” but provided no details about his duties.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack. Jordanian police said they are investigating the incident.

In the wake of the shooting, the Foreign Ministry has decided to recall the families of all embassy employees in Amman, the Jerusalem Post reported.

All female employees of the embassy also are being returned to Israel, the paper said.

The shooting comes two weeks after Israel’s deputy consul in Amman, Yoram Havivian, was lightly wounded in a similar attack.

Two unknown groups claimed responsibility for that attack and vowed more until diplomatic ties between Jordan and Israel are severed.

Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty in 1994, but many Jordanians remain staunchly opposed to ties with the Jewish state.

Slightly more than a week ago, 14 Jordanian lawmakers called for canceling Jordan’s treaty with Israel.

The speaker of Jordan’s Parliament was quoted by a Jordanian newspaper as saying that a parliamentary legal committee would review the request.

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