Longest-serving Jordanian prisoner returns home – officials
The longest-serving Jordanian prisoner in an Israeli jail returned home on Tuesday, Jordanian officials said, after serving a 20-year sentence for planting a bomb on an Israeli bus that injured more than a dozen people .
Abdullah Abu Jaber, 44, was arrested after the explosive device exploded on the bus in Tel Aviv in December 2000. He was among thousands of Jordanians who found casual work in Israel after the two countries left. normalized their relationship with a peace treaty in 1994.
Abu Jaber, one of 22 political prisoners held in Israeli jails, visited his parents’ home in the Palestinian refugee camp of Baqaa, near the Jordanian capital Amman, witnesses said.
Separately, Foreign Ministry officials said Israel dropped charges against two Jordanians arrested last month for allegedly crossing the border with knives. The authorities brought them to justice soon after their detention.
Jordan, which has the longest border with Israel, is a close Western ally. Over the past month, there have been large protests against Israel’s military campaign in Gaza and its crackdown on Palestinian worshipers and protesters in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Political ties between the two countries have been strained due to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, and the Jordanian government has faced mounting public pressure to quash the unpopular peace treaty.
Most of Jordan’s 10 million citizens are of Palestinian origin. They or their parents were expelled or fled to Jordan during the fighting that accompanied the creation of Israel in 1948.
They have close family ties with their parents across the Jordan River in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, both captured by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.
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