Jordan recalls ambassador to Israel to protest detentions

U.S. & World

The border sign in the Naharayim park on Israel-Jordan border, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. The Naharayim park opened 25 years ago as a symbol of the landmark peace agreement between Israel and Jordan. Now, as the two countries mark a quarter century of official relations, the park and its “Isle of Peace” are being shuttered. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

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AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan on Tuesday announced it was recalling its ambassador to Israel for consultations to protest Israel’s detention of a pair of Jordanians who have been held without charges for the past two months.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi wrote on Twitter Tuesday that Jordan was taking the step because of Israel’s refusal “to heed our legitimate demands” to release the pair.

“We hold Israeli government responsible for the lives of our citizens whose health conditions have severely deteriorated in illegal arbitrary detention,” he said. “We will take all necessary legal & diplomatic measures to ensure their safe return home.”

The case has further soured what already is a tense relationship between the two countries, which marked the 25-year anniversary of their landmark peace agreement over the weekend.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it was checking the Jordanian announcement with authorities in Amman.

Israel detained Heba al-Labadi on Aug. 20 and Abdul Rahman Miri on Sept. 2 as they entered the West Bank from Jordan.

Both are being held in administrative detention, an Israeli policy that allows the open-ended detentions of people suspected of security offenses without filing charges.

Supporters say that both are suffering from serious health problems. Labadi, 32, has been on a hunger strike for 37 days, and her lawyer, Raslan Mahajne, said her condition is poor.

Miri, 29, has been battling cancer since 2010 and requires regular check-ups, according to the Palestinian Commission of Detainees Affairs, which is assisting him.

Mahajne said an Israeli military court on Tuesday refused an appeal to release Miri. He said the court is expected to rule on al-Labadi’s appeal in the coming days.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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