A big embarrassment for Jordan 

The arrest of the Jordanian parliament member in Israel after he tried to smuggle dozens of weapons to the terrorist groups in the West Bank embarrassed Jordan, which presents itself as fighting against terrorism. The affair increases the tensions between the two countries, each of which wants, for its own reasons, to end it quickly, Imad Al-Adwan will be deported at the end of his investigation back to Jordan.



In Jordan, the popular demand is increasing to exert pressure on Israel to release from custody the Jordanian member of parliament Imad Al-Adwan who was arrested at the Allenby crossing when he tried to smuggle dozens of weapons into Israel intended for the armed terrorist groups in the West Bank and criminal elements among Israeli Arabs.   

Imad Al-Adwan, is a great supporter of Hamas and within a few days became a national hero on the Jordanian street who presents him as someone who tried to help the armed resistance groups in the West Bank and therefore deserves to be appreciated, even though the smuggling was in general a deal for the greed of money. 

Smuggling weapons to the Palestinians in the West Bank is seen on Jordanian Street as an act of heroism, according to many on Jordanian Street, Imad Al-Adwan smuggled weapons just as Yasser Arafat and several senior PA officials did who smuggled weapons to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. 

The Jordanian authorities were surprised by the arrest of the member of parliament, this caused great embarrassment to the Jordanian royal house and the official Jordan contented itself with a brief announcement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that it was following the issue and dealing with it. 

The Jordanian parliament is known to be a great opponent of Israel and Imad Al-Adwan previously called for the return of the Jordanian ambassador from Tel Aviv and the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador from Amman. 

Imad Al-Adwan’s arrest increased the tensions in Israel-Jordan relations that have continued since the events at the Al Aqsa Mosque during the month of Ramadan, even though Israel has informed it that it does not intend to change the status quo on the Temple Mount, however both countries are interested in a peaceful resolution of the Imad Al-Adwan affair. 

Imad Al-Adwan belongs to the large Bedouin tribe Al-Adwan, which owns most of the land in the Jordan Valley, along the border with the State of Israel. 

Most of the tribe’s members are armed, the tribe published announcements   placing the responsibility for the arrest of Imad Al-Adwan on the Jordanian government and Israel’s continued detention. 


The Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on April 25 that Rasan Al-Majali, the Jordanian ambassador to Israel, visited Imad Al-Adwan in the Israeli prison and talked with him about the circumstances of his arrest and the procedures of his interrogation. 


The Jordanian government and its intelligence did not know in advance about the attempt to smuggle weapons into Israel, if they had known, they would probably have prevented it, the Jordanian army guards Jordan’s long border with Israel well and thwarts attempts by terrorists and smugglers to cross the border and enter Israel. 

According to security sources, secret talks are underway between the Israeli Shin Bet and the Jordanian intelligence regarding the release of Imad Al-Adwan from detention and his deportation back to Jordan without being prosecuted in Israel. 

Israel will receive a security return as part of the deal for the release of Imad Al-Adwan, the deal requires the approval of King Abdullah and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. 

The Shin Bet is investigating Imad Al-Adwan in order to get to everyone who organized the arms smuggling and was involved in the affair, this is a good opportunity to locate one of the smuggling routes of weapons from Jordan to Israel and close the loophole, it is not yet known if this is Imad Al-Adwan’s first smuggling or if he was engaged in smuggling on a regular basis until caught red-handed. 


Israel is not interested in expanding the affair and bringing Imad Al-Adwan to trial, as soon as the investigation is over he will be deported to Jordan, his continued arrest will only increase the tensions in Jordan’s relations with Israel, the Al-Adwan tribe may rise up against King Abdullah, while in Israel there is a fear that the members of the tribe will try to kidnap Israeli soldiers or civilians as hostages and force Israel to release Imad Al-Adwan. 

It seems that the two sides who keep a low profile are trying behind the scenes to end the affair quickly, the smuggling attempt of Imad Al-Adwan caused shame to Jordan in the international community because it presents itself as fighting against terrorism and now it is looking for a way to cut its losses and reduce the damage that was caused. 

Yoni Ben Menachem Senior Middle East Analyst

About Yoni Ben Menachem

Yoni Ben Menachem is a Middle East senior analyst ,a journalist and
the former CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority(IBA). He has
decades of experience in written and video journalism. Ben
Menachem’s path in the media world began as a producer for
Japanese television in the Middle East. After that, he held many key
positions in the media The Israeli: CEO of the Israel Broadcasting
Authority, director of “Kol Israel” Radio, reporter on West Bank and
Gaza Strip affairs, political reporter and commentator, commentator
on Middle East affairs and editor-in-chief and presenter of the
program “Middle East Magazine”. 

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