Israel’s War Against Palestine: Documenting the Military Occupation of Palestinian and Arab Lands

Jordan: Prosecutor agrees to look into complaint against Israeli MPs

22 January 2010

IOA Editor: Links to Reuven Rivlin’s and Arieh Eldad’s Israeli Knesset pages were added by the IOA and were not in the original Jordan Times article.

By Mohammad Ben Hussein, Jordan Times – 21 Jan 2010

AMMAN – The Amman prosecutor general on Wednesday agreed to open an investigation into a complaint against Israeli politicians over statements suggesting that Jordan become an alternative homeland for Palestinians, activists said.

The complaint was filed by Hikmat Rawashdeh, spokesperson of the National Committee on Crimes, formed in the aftermath of the controversial proposal’s discussion in the Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.

The complaint names two Israeli officials, Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin and Knesset member Aryeh Eldad of the right-wing National Union Party, who raised the proposal during a Knesset debate on “alternatives to the two-state solution” in May last year.

The Knesset voted to refer the suggestion to a committee for further review, while the Israeli foreign ministry distanced itself from the proposal, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported at the time.

The incident prompted Jordan to summon the Israeli ambassador and issue a stern statement of protest, while numerous MPs and activists called for the government to sever ties with Israel in response.

Rawashdeh, a prominent leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, told The Jordan Times that accepting the complaint “was a breakthrough in efforts to respond to Israel’s actions against Jordan”.

He noted that scores of Jordanian public figures would be called to testify including former prime minister Abdur-Ra’uf S. Rawabdeh, former president of the Jordan Bar Association Saleh Armouti, and MPs and activists from different parties.

“What happened in the Knesset is a direct attack against Jordan,” Rawashdeh said, insisting that Jordan’s legal system allows the trial of foreigners who commit crimes against the Kingdom, even abroad.

“According to the Penal Code, any foreigner or Jordanian is legally liable if he commits a misdemeanour or a crime against Jordan, be it in Jordan or abroad,” he said.

Observers said the prosecutor’s decision to investigate the complaint does not necessarily mean the Israeli politicians will be put on trial.

Asem Omari, a lawyer and human rights activist, hailed the decision as a step in the right direction.

“We have always called for filing lawsuits against Israel. Our legal system has the power to make a difference on these issues,” he said.

Jordan in 1994 became the second Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel after Egypt.

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