Jordanian militants open fire on Israeli guards

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The Independent Online
Gunmen shot and wounded two Israeli security guards working at the Israeli embassy in Amman, the Jordanian capital, yesterday. "The vehicle stopped and a man took his gun out and shot at the two Israelis, wounding both of them," said a Jordanian official. Israel later said there were three attackers.

The attack was claimed by a hitherto unknown group called the Jordanian Islamic Resistance in a fax to news agencies in Beirut. It said the shooting was in response to "the Zionist enemy's practices against our people in Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon" and called for the release of Ahmed Daqamseh, the Jordanian soldier who killed seven Israeli girls on a school outing to the Jordan river in March.

Police blocked off the street in Amman while detectives began collecting evidence. In Israel, the two guards were identified as Yaakov Levine and Amikam Hadar. They were reported to have suffered only slight injuries.

The Jordanian police officer leading investigations into the attack said the gunmen appeared to have waited for their target at a street corner and opened fire as the two men, in an unmarked hire car with Jordanian licence plates, slowed down. The peace treaty between Israel and Jordan signed in 1994 has never been popular with Jordanians, who feel it has brought them no gains. Nevertheless, King Hussein has stuck firmly to his alliance with the United States and Israel, despite his repeated criticism of the policies of the Israeli government.