Israel apologizes for killing of two Jordanians at embassy: Jordan FM

Mourners carry the body of 17-year-old Mohammed Jawawdeh, during his funeral on July 25, 2017, in Amman. (AFP)
Updated 19 January 2018
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Israel apologizes for killing of two Jordanians at embassy: Jordan FM

AMMAN: Israel has apologized for the killing of two Jordanians at its embassy in Amman and agreed to investigate their deaths.
The two men were shot dead by an Israeli security guard at the embassy compound in July. The embassy has been shut ever since.
Jordan’s foreign ministry said on Thursday it had received a letter from the Israeli government offering a “deep apology and regret” for the killings.
“Israel has accepted all of the demands of Jordan. It agreed to legally investigate the embassy case, sent an apology and has agreed to pay compensation to the families of those killed,” government spokesman Mohammad Momani said.
Momani said the families have accepted the apology and agreed to an offer of compensation for their relatives' deaths. No details were made available of how much.
The shooting killed Bashar Hamarneh, the landlord of a house at the embassy complex and a young furniture repair man Mohammad Jawwadeh.
Israel said the guard had been defending himself after Jawawdah attacked him with a screwdriver.
Jordan denied the claim and was infuriated when Israel refused to allow Jordanian police to interview the shooter, sparking a diplomatic standoff.
The killer returned to Israel under diplomatic immunity and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greeted him with a hug.
The Israeli letter also included an offer to compensate the family of Raed Zuieta, a Jordanian judge killed at the King Hussein bridge in March 2014.
Israel expressed its desire to renew relations with Jordan, Momani said. The Jordanian government will take the appropriate steps in “the higher interests” of Jordan, he added.
Khalil Atiyeh, deputy speaker at the Jordanian Parliament, told Arab News that the Israelis folded under pressure. 
“The pressure from the King backed by the popular demands forced the Zionists to accept the need to abide by international law and respect the wishes of the Jordanian people,” he said. 
Atiyeh, a Jordanian of Palestinian origin, said that this is a “victory for Jordan and for King Abdullah.”


Syrian children study on the ground in abandoned villa

Displaced Syrian children attend class at a makeshift school in the village of Muhandiseen, in the south western countryside of the Aleppo province, on September 24, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 25 September 2018
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Syrian children study on the ground in abandoned villa

  • Some sit with their knees drawn on a plastic woven carpet, their shoes neatly by its side

ALEPPO, Syria: In rebel-held northern Syria, displaced children sit or lie on the ground of an unfinished villa, bending over their notebooks to apply themselves as they write the day’s lesson.
Four teachers instruct around 100 children — girls and boys aged six to 12 — at the makeshift school in an opposition-held area in the west of the northern province of Aleppo.
Between the bare walls of the villa abandoned mid-construction, children sit or lie on sheets or plain carpets, their small backpacks cast by their side.
Dubbed “Buds of Hope,” the teaching facility has no desks, library or even working toilets.
Instead, the air wafts in from beyond the pine trees outside through the gaping windows in the cement wall.
Dressed in a bright blue T-shirt and jeans, her hair neatly tied back in a pony tail, a barefoot girl kneels over her book, carefully writing.
“This isn’t a school,” says 11-year-old Ali Abdel Jawad.
“There aren’t any classrooms, no seats, nothing. We’re sitting on the ground,” he says.
In one classroom, a gaggle of veiled young girls sit on a bench, as the teacher explains the lesson to one of their male counterparts near a rare white board.
In another, the school’s only female teacher perches on a plastic chair, as her students gather around on the floor, their backs against the wall.

Some sit with their knees drawn on a plastic woven carpet, their shoes neatly by its side.
The children — as well as their teachers — have been displaced from their homes in other parts of Syria due to the seven-year war, a teacher told an AFP photographer.
Some hail from Eastern Ghouta outside Damascus, a former rebel stronghold that fell back under regime control in April after a blistering offensive and surrender deals.
Others come from the central provinces of Hama or Homs.
A dry fountain lies in the courtyard outside the villa’s elegant facade, where girls link arms and swing around in a circle.
Schools in opposition-held areas are generally funded by aid organizations, but have in the past been hit by bombardment.
“We’re always scared of bombardment and of the situation in general,” says one of the teachers, giving his name as Mohammed.
The building lies in rebel-held territory adjacent to regime-controlled parts of Aleppo city to the east, but also the major opposition stronghold of Idlib to the west.
Some three million people live in the Idlib province and adjacent areas of the neighboring Aleppo and Latakia provinces, around half of them displaced by war in other parts of Syria.
Earlier this month, many feared a regime assault on Idlib, but last week Damascus ally Moscow and rebel backer Ankara announced a deal to temporarily halt it.