Israeli Authorities Search, Arrest Jordanian MP, Defying Diplomatic Protocols He's accused of smuggling weapons and gold across Allenby Bridge
A Jordanian MP and lawyer, Imad Zaidan Al-Adwan, was arrested while crossing the Allenby Bridge. Israeli authorities claim he was attempting to smuggle weapons and gold into the West Bank from Jordan.
Al Adwan is an attorney with a Masters degree in international law. He is affiliated with the Palestine Committee in the Jordanian parliament.
This story was under gag order and Israeli reporters could only offer limited accounts of the story approved by Israeli authorities. This is one of the reasons it is critical to defy such bans characteristic of autocracies and dictatorships, not democracies.
One report says the Israelis claim they discovered 12 rifles, 27 ZIG pistols, 167 Glock pistols, and 100 kilograms of gold. However, Israel’s Channel 12 denied there was any gold in the MP’s vehicle.
The arrest is certain to enflame tensions with Jordan, whose pro-Palestinian factions have demanded cutting diplomatic relations in the aftermath of Israeli mass violence and desecration of Haram al Sharif. The level of insult and condescension among Israeli officials toward their Arab neighbors is astonishing:
Jordan has repeatedly lambasted Jerusalem, in more than 10 statements over an incident during Ramadan in which cops entered Al-Aqsa to confront Palestinian rioters and were filmed beating some of them. At one point, Jordan refused to receive messages from Israel through the US or the United Arab Emirates, saying it would only accept direct messages and only if Israel commits to not enter the mosque again.
The Israeli officials cited in the report said they had held positive meetings with Safadi ahead of Ramadan, when Israel-Palestinian tensions regularly flare over the Temple Mount, but that he adopted a hardline position as matters came to a head.
As if there was no reason for him to do so except pure anti-Israel spite! Of course, the Israelis promised there would be calm at the Muslim holy site. Then they defiled it with mass beatings and arrests. Yet they somehow are shocked and disappointed that their erstwhile friendly encounter turned into a nasty “hardline” response.
Also, Israeli ex-terrorist minister, Bezalel Smotrich delivered a Likud speech in France before a lectern featuring the logo of the Yishuv Jewish terror militia, Etzel. It featured a map of its envisioned state incorporating the territory of Jordan. It reflects Jabotinsky’s territorial vision: “there are two banks of the Jordan; both are ours.” The state protested sharply this insult to its sovereignty.
Haaretz reports the Jordanian foreign ministry says it is handling the incident “through diplomatic channels.” If true, it would be a tepid response considering that a Jordanian citizen and MP has been illegally detained by a foreign government. Israeli state broadcaster Kan reports differently:
Jordan’s foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, was refusing to answer calls from his Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen, after news of the incident broke.
Foreign diplomats are entitled to immunity and their personal belongings would not be searched in a country obeying international law. However, Israel customarily ignores such protocols when it is convenient. It also arrested him, which is another violation of diplomatic protocols.
An Israeli security source claimed that this was a “troubling, comparatively serious attempt to smuggle weapons” to Palestinian militants. None of the news reports indicated for whom the Israelis claim the weapons were intended.
Israeli media published a short video claiming to display the smuggled weapons.
♦️مقطـع فيديـو تداولتـه صفحات إسرائيلية غير موثوقـة لما قالت عنه محاولـة تهريب أسلحـة عبر جسر ”اللنبي/ الكرامـة“ من قبـل نائب في مجلس الشعب الأردني إلى الضفـة الغربيـة .. خلال النقاش على إحـدى الصفحات ظهـر تعليـق للمراسل العسكري لقنـاة ريشت كان العبريـة يطالب القائمين على الصفحـة… pic.twitter.com/jBJ52g0vK7
— جريدة القدس (@alqudsnewspaper) April 23, 2023
Given my experience in reporting such matters, I suspect that either the Israeli claim is fabricated or that the circumstances are other than what the authorities claim. MPs who are lawyers with Masters degrees in international law do not generally become arms smugglers.
I sought responses to the arrest via the Twitter accounts of King Abdullah and the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.
12 thoughts on “Israeli Authorities Search, Arrest Jordanian MP, Defying Diplomatic Protocols – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Foreign parliament members aren’t diplomats. Diplomatic immunity didn’t apply. You’re confusing it with the immunity from protection an MP has in his/her home country.
This isn’t the first time foreign nationals with diplomatic immunity have tried to smuggle firearms to terrorists in order to kill Israelis.
I find it troubling when you condone terrorism.
I don’t ‘condone terrorism.’ But what you call “terrorism” is not.
It is not only “troubling,” but hypocritical that you denounce Palestinian so-called “terrorism” while calling Israeli terrorism, self-defense or some-such malarkey. It is not. It is, again, terrorism.
New rule: No commenter may use the word “terrorist” when speaking of acts of Palestinian resistance. Unless they use the same word to describe Israeli acts. Any comment using such a term in connection with Palestinians will be deleted. Please make this known to your fellow hasbara tag team active here.
I have repeatedly and patiently explained over the past few weeks that Palestinians are entitled to armed resistance. The only way they may do this is with weapons. Obtaining and using weapons in acts of resistance against illegal occupation is legitimate (i.e. NOT terrorism). Not to mention, such armed resistance is an act of defense of the homes and villages of Palestine.
In fact, the more sophisticated and powerful Palestinian weapons become, the greater price Israel will pay for its crimes and terrorism. Only when there is weapons-parity will Israel realize that for every Palestinian life it takes, an Israeli life will also be taken. If Palestine had F-35s and nuclear weapons, you can be damn sure Israel would be in a far different posture than it is now.
Couldn’t agree more!
If Israel was looking for a reason to arrest him, 5-10 pistols would have done the job.
This is a redicules amount of weaponry and seem to be like the real deal.
Even if there was immunity, when the is intel about such crime, there is no way int’l law still protects it. Maybe the guys had to be released but do you suggest Israel should allow it to enter? Maybe even pass the arms to the Palestinians now? With an apology?
@ Arik Shalem: I suggest that the PA appoint border guards and post them at Ben Gurion, Haifa, Ashdod & every Israeli port of entry and that they stop and arrest any Israeli found accepting weapons imported via those sites. Then we’ll have proportionality and a vast reduction in the level of violence. When Israel agrees to that, then I’ll agree to prohibiting Palestinians from attempts to arm themselves.
love it, no issue with jordanian MP defying protocols by smuggling hundreds of firearms, it is israel that gets called out for defying protocol, preventing blood shed etc
@ock: “preventing bloodshed??? Preventing bloodshed would be to stop invading Palestinian villages and murdering 14 yr old boys. I hope Palestinians become as well-armed as Israelis are, so they defend themselves. I don’t care how they obtain the arms.
[comment deleted: I explicitly said that any comment that called armed Palestinians “terrorists” would be deleted. Hence, yours has been. Do this again and you’ll be moderated. I would be willing to make an exception if every time you referred to any Israeli military or police personnel you called them “terrorists” as well. Since these Israeli terrorists are representatives of the state, that makes Israel a terror state. But I won’t hold you to calling Israel that every time you use its name.”]
I’m confused, Richard Silverstein.
I don’t believe this diplomat is even a Palestinian. He appears to be part of the Adwani Bedouin tribe.
What could have motivated him to do this?
@ Kenny Gee: Well over half of Jordanians are former Palestinian refugees. So saying he isn’t Palestinian, unless you know that for a fact, is a dicey proposition. But even if he isn’t, why would you assume that a Jordanian Bedouin wouldn’t feel a sense of solidarity with Palestinians? Finally, did you bother to read in my post that he’s a member of the Palestine committee in the Jordanian parliament?
Hi Mister Silverstein,
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my comment.
The Adwani Bedouin have been powerful allies of the ruling Hashemites for one hundred years, and I would expect that the King wants some Bedouin cronies also serving on the Palestine Committee.
I’m sure many Jordanian Bedouin support Palestinian resistance, but considering their history, I’m sure many Jordanian Bedouin are less than enthusiastic.
Was this diplomat so idealistic that he’d risk prison, or, was money the factor.
Whoever financed this smuggling operation obviously had deep pockets.
Who do you suppose was behind it?
Have a pleasant day,