Israel has arrested a Jordanian member of parliament on suspicion of gun and gold smuggling, Jordan’s foreign ministry said on Sunday.
According to a statement issued by Jordan’s foreign ministry this Sunday, Imad al-Adwan, a member of Jordan’s parliament, was arrested a day before while he was trying to cross from Jordan into the occupied West Bank and smuggle guns and gold to Palestine.
“The ministry and all relevant agencies in the kingdom are working to ascertain the details of this issue and address it as quickly as possible,” the statement said. The 35-year-old Al-Adwan is a member of the Jordanian parliament’s Palestine Committee.
According to Jordan’s Ammon news outlet, the arrest took place on Saturday evening at the Allenby Bridge border crossing, as al-Adwan was heading into Israel by car. Israel’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the episode. Videos of the arrest on social media showed around a dozen AR-15-style assault rifles and around 200 handguns spread in rows on a floor as Israeli officials catalogued them for further investigations.
The beginning of an end to Israel-Jordan rapprochement
In line with efforts to normalize ties with Arab states in the frame of the Abraham Accords, Israel signed with Jordan a letter of intent in November 2021 for the export of 600 MW of electricity annually, produced by solar farms in Jordan that would be built by the UAE-government owned Masdar, while Jordan would receive 200 million cubic meters of desalinated water produced by Israel each year.
The program was developed in a series of secret talks since September 2021, and a renewed memorandum of understanding was signed in November 2022.
But it seems now that with the arrest of Al-Adwan, hopes for making an ally out of Jordan are fading away for Israel. Rebuking Israel for the arrest, Prominent Jordanian legislator Khalil Atiya said the government would be held responsible if it failed to act quickly to Israel’s ‘assault’.
“There should be no room left for the enemy to harm the dignity of Jordanians by detaining and jailing a member of the parliament,” Atiya said. Good to mention that Atiya is famous for his vocal opposition to Israel and has led campaigns to repeal the country’s peace treaty with Israel.
Former Jordanian MP Tarek Khoury also accused the Israeli government of fabricating the gold angle, in order “to turn the heroic act into a smuggling issue.” Also, according to the Kan public broadcaster, Jordan’s foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, refused to answer calls from his Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen, after news of the incident broke.
Israel-Jordan recent tensions date back to months before Al-Adwan’s arrest
Tensions between Israel and Jordan date back to before Al-Adwan’s arrest, mostly emanating from Israel’s consent violence against Palestinians.
Jordan has repeatedly lashed out at Israel in more than 10 statements over Israel’s several attacks against Palestinians during Ramadan in which cops entered Al-Aqsa and were filmed beating and arresting prayers.
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.
Even prior to the recent tensions, Jordan summoned the Israeli envoy over far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s speech last month at a conference in Paris, during which he called to “wipe out” a Palestinian town in the West Bank following the killing of two Israeli brothers during a fight between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians.