Jordan rejects ‘most wanted’ woman’s extradition to US

Ahlam Al-Tamimi
Updated 21 March 2017
0

Jordan rejects ‘most wanted’ woman’s extradition to US

AMMAN: Jordan’s Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal to extradite Ahlam Al-Tamimi, who was placed on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorist” list, as her family urged Jordan’s government to ensure Al-Tamimi’s safety.
The court upheld a ruling issued by an appeals court, the official Petra news agency reported.
Petra, quoting a judicial source, said the extradition cannot go through because Jordan’s Parliament has never ratified an extradition agreement with the US signed in March 1995.
Al-Tamimi was blacklisted by the US in March and charged with “conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against US nationals outside the US, resulting in death.”
The US Justice Department said Al-Tamimi, now in her mid-30s, escorted a Hamas suicide bomber to Jerusalem on Aug. 9, 2001, where he detonated a bomb, hidden inside a guitar, in a pizza shop.
The bomb killed 15, including two Americans, and wounded another 122. Al-Tamimi was arrested and put on trial, where she pleaded guilty, and was sentenced in 2003 to 16 life terms in prison.
She was released in a 2011 Israeli prisoner swap with Hamas. She faces possible execution or life in prison if she is captured, tried and convicted in the US.
Al-Tamimi’s family, in a statement received by Arab News, asked Jordan’s government to provide security and safety to their daughter and her husband Nizar as freed prisoners from Israeli prisons.
The statement said the judiciary “has always proven to uphold its independence, autonomy, fairness and patriotism. We have been fully confident that the court would issue its decision in favor of our daughter.”
The statement thanked individuals, civil society institutions and members of the media and Parliament for their support and solidarity in the face of “American injustice.”
Meanwhile, Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood described the court’s decision as a firm stance in the face of all those who seek to affect Jordan’s sovereignty and violate the basic human rights of its citizens.
“The Muslim Brotherhood condemns and deplores the position and attitude of the US administration and its double standard, as it has remained silent and supportive of war crimes of the Zionists against the Palestinian people, but accuses the Jordanian citizen of using weapons of mass destruction,” it said in a statement.


White House Mideast team holds talks with Jordanian king

Keeping spirits alive Palestinian youths play with rollerblades by walls covered with graffiti at the sea port in Gaza City on Tuesday. AFP
Updated 4 min 8 sec ago
0

White House Mideast team holds talks with Jordanian king

  • The US has been trying to rally support for projects to rescue Gaza’s economy, which has been weakened by an Israeli-Egyptian blockade, while continuing to isolate Hamas
  • Jared Kushner’s team plans stops in Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. No talks with the Palestinians are scheduled, though the Americans have left the door open to meeting with them

AMMAN: President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, kicked off a swing through the Middle East on Tuesday, meeting with Jordan’s king as part of a broader effort to lay the groundwork for an expected Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

Kushner and White House envoy Jason Greenblatt held talks with Jordan’s King Abdullah, a key US ally.
A White House statement said the talks focused on US-Jordan cooperation, the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and the US efforts “to “facilitate peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.”
US officials have said their peace plan is near completion and could be released this summer. But it faces resistance from the Palestinians, who have cut off ties since Trump recognized contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December and moved the US Embassy in Israel to the holy city last month. The Palestinians, who seek Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as their capital, accuse the US of siding with Israel in the most sensitive issue of their decades-long conflict.
Kushner’s team also plans stops in Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. No talks with the Palestinians are scheduled, though the Americans have left the door open to meeting with them.
The Palestinians seek all of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip for an independent state. Israel captured the territories in the 1967 Mideast war. It withdrew from Gaza in 2005, and Hamas militants seized control of the territory two years later.
The US has been trying to rally support for projects to rescue Gaza’s economy, which has been weakened by an Israeli-Egyptian blockade, while continuing to isolate Hamas. The US, Israel and Western allies shun Hamas as a terrorist group. Details of the plan have not been released, but Palestinians fear they will get little more than a symbolic foothold in Jerusalem. They also fear that aid to Gaza will help strengthen Hamas’ control over the territory.
Jordan also has a stake in east Jerusalem, serving as the custodian of major Muslim and Christian shrines there. Jerusalem’s walled Old City, captured and annexed by Israel in 1967, is home to Muslim, Christian and Jewish holy sites.
Abdullah has also rejected Trump’s moves in Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refuses to relinquish any part of the city.
Netanyahu traveled to Amman on Monday for a surprise meeting with Abdullah, telling the king that Israel remains committed to the status quo of the holy sites in Jerusalem.
Abdullah told Netanyahu that the fate of Jerusalem must be determined in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and that a solution should be based on establishing a Palestinian state, with east Jerusalem as its capital, on lands Israel captured in 1967.
Palestinian officials fear the Trump administration plan will leave them with a mini-state in the Gaza Strip, parts of the West Bank and a foothold in Jerusalem. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has said he will reject any plan being floated by the Trump team, arguing that the US has forfeited its role as mediator because of decisions seen as pro-Israel.