Intelligence sources report that al-Qaida and Hamas are now tracking Israeli diplomats, businessmen and students throughout Jordan.
“The Islamists have failed to pressure the government to sever relations with Israel, so what they are doing is trying to drive the Israelis out of the country or scare them into staying in their hotels or embassy,” a Western diplomat said.
Jordan has uncovered an Islamist plot to intimidate Israeli businessmen in the Hashemite kingdom. On March 4, two suspected Islamist operatives were indicted for plotting to kill an Israeli factory owner in the northern city of Irbid.
Mohammed Odatallah, 36, and Loay Shehadah, 37, were charged by Jordan’s military prosecutor of seeking to kill Jews. Messrs. Odatallah and Shehada were said to have targeted an unidentified Israeli factory owner in Irbid and began tracking his movements.
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Israelis have established several factories in northern Israel, which have been producing everything from textiles to batteries.
The indictment said the defendants tried to kill the Israeli in January. Messrs. Odatallah and Shehada were said to have arrived at the Irbid factory, but fled when they saw a security patrol. The Israeli later left Jordan.
This marked the second Islamist plot against the Israeli presence in Jordan over the last few months. Last December, three Hamas members were convicted and sentenced to five years for plotting to attack Israelis as well as Jordanian intelligence officers. Last Thursday, Jordan’s High Court reduced the sentences of the Hamas assailants by half.
David Bedein can be reached at email@example.com