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Israel releases Jordanian MP arrested over arms smuggling

Imad al-Adwan is suspected of smuggling 200 guns and rifles destined for Judea and Samaria. The Jordanian parliamentarian has a history of support for Palestinian terror organizations.

Illegal weapons seized by the Israel Police, Nov. 8, 2021. Credit: Israel Police.
Illegal weapons seized by the Israel Police, Nov. 8, 2021. Credit: Israel Police.

Israel on Sunday decided to release Jordanian parliamentarian Imad al-Adwan, who was arrested in April on suspicion of smuggling weapons and gold through the Allenby Crossing into Israel.

Israel has reached an understanding with Jordan according to which he will be arrested upon his return, prosecuted and punished, according to Ynet.

“The suspect has not been released but completed his questioning in Israel and is being transferred to the custody of Jordanian security officials, who continue the investigation with him…. He will stand trial,” an Israeli security official said.

“There are many loose ends to the investigation that are [best pursued] with the Jordanians, and therefore their cooperation, including additional investigations with them [are necessary], because this is something that the security forces in Israel cannot do,” he added.

The Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, said al-Adwan was arrested on April 22 after 12 rifles and 194 pistols were found in his vehicle.

Further investigation revealed that since February 2022 the Jordanian parliamentarian illegally transported various goods into Israel using his diplomatic passport on 12 occasions. These included birds, electronic cigarettes and gold.

The Jordanian lawmaker has a history of anti-Israel rhetoric and support for Palestinian terror organizations. However, he also received large amounts of money for the smuggling.

“At the same time as his questioning in Israel, security forces in Jordan arrested several people connected to the smuggling carried out by al-Adwan,” the Shin Bet reported.

After al-Adwan’s arrest, Arab news outlets said that Jordan intervened on his behalf and mediated with Israel to secure his release. On Friday, al-Adwan met with his attorney. While under arrest, he was also visited by Jordan’s Ambassador to Israel Rasan al-Majli.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen preferred to play down the incident, describing it as criminal in nature. “I don’t think this has anything to do with Jordan as a whole, but rather an irresponsible crime,” he said, adding that he “does not want to place the blame on the entire government or the entire parliament” in Jordan.

The incident is the latest cause of tension between Jerusalem and Amman, which recently criticized Israel for clashes on the Temple Mount during Ramadan and counterterrorism operations in Judea and Samaria.

Israel Hayom contributed to this report.

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