Prisoner’s freedom sought for abducted Jordan ambassador

Updated 16 April 2014

Prisoner’s freedom sought for abducted Jordan ambassador

TRIPOLI: Jordan’s ambassador to Libya was kidnapped on Tuesday by gunmen who demanded a radical militant be released from a Jordanian jail in exchange for the diplomat’s freedom.
The masked gunmen shot and wounded the driver of Ambassador Fawaz Al-Itan’s car as they snatched the diplomat from a street in the capital Tripoli, Libya’s Foreign Ministry said.
Essam Baitelmel, a member of the Libyan team investigating the abduction, said the kidnappers had demanded the release of Mohamed Dersi, a Libyan militant jailed for life in 2007 for plotting to blow up the main airport in Jordan.
The kidnappers made their demands in a call to the ambassador’s own cellphone, which was left behind in the car after the abduction, Baitelmel said. They said the diplomat was unharmed.
Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour told Parliament the government would take “all necessary measures to protect his life and release him.” But agreeing to the kidnappers’ demand could set a dangerous precedent for Jordan.
“Jordan has currently locked up some of the top global Al-Qaeda scholars and jihadis like Mohammad Al-Makdisi and Abu Qatada. A deal over Dersi may encourage other jihadis to follow suit, so, very tricky,” a Jordanian intelligence official said.
Royal Jordanian Airlines suspended flights to Tripoli after the kidnap.


Palestinian shot, killed after ramming car into Israeli forces, police say

Updated 1 min 44 sec ago

Palestinian shot, killed after ramming car into Israeli forces, police say

  • The Palestinian man was taken to a nearby Israeli hospital after being shot and died of his wounds

JERUSALEM: Israeli security forces fatally shot a Palestinian driver who tried to ram his car into them at a checkpoint on Jerusalem’s outskirts on Wednesday after he raised suspicions by presenting apparently fake identification papers, police said.
The man was taken to a nearby Israeli hospital after being shot and died of his wounds, a hospital spokeswoman said.
There was no immediate comment from Palestinian officials.
“Suspicion arose that the documents presented by the driver were not his and he was apparently trying to impersonate someone else,” a police statement said.
“During the security check, the suspect started speeding, hitting a border policeman who was at the scene. Following this, the policeman and the security personnel fired at the vehicle,” police said in a statement.
The Israeli policeman was lightly injured, police said.
Palestinians carried out a wave of car-rammings in Jerusalem and the West Bank in late 2015 and 2016, but the frequency of such incidents has since ebbed.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks broke down in 2014. The Palestinians want to establish a state in east Jerusalem, the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.