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Jordan, Tunisia: Parliamentary Measures Aimed at Israel

(Jan. 8, 2018) On December 10, 2017, members of the Parliaments of Jordan and Tunisia took steps toward adopting legal measures against the state of Israel.

Tunisian Measure

Tunisian members of Parliament signed a petition to speed up the voting process for a draft law to ban any activity that is considered to be an act of normalization of relations with Israel. The draft law, which was proposed in 2015, is sponsored by 95 Tunisian parliamentarians, according to the Al-Araby newspaper. (Tunisia Lawmakers Move to Outlaw “Normalization” with Israel, NEW ARAB (Dec. 10, 2017) (in Arabic).)

The members who had sponsored the proposed law stated that the main goal of the draft law was to advocate what they called the “Palestinian cause.” They also stated that the draft law would enhance the role of Tunisia in defending the rights of Palestinians. (Id.)

Jordanian Measure

Members of the Jordanian Parliament voted unanimously to review the existing peace agreement with the State of Israel that was concluded in October 1994. The purpose of this measure, according to news reports, is to examine all provisions of the peace treaty to record violations allegedly committed by the government of Israel. (Karim Traboulsi, Jordanian Lawmakers Vote to “Review” Peace Treaty with Israel, AL ARABY (Dec. 10, 2017); Treaty of Peace Between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the State of Israel (Oct. 26, 1994), King Hussein of Jordan website.)

The vote was accompanied by the signing of a memo by 14 members of Parliament calling for the complete abolishment of the peace agreement.(Id.) This action follows an incident that took place on July 23, 2017, at the Israeli embassy compound in Amman, Jordan. According to a news report of the incident, a guard at the Israeli embassy, Ziv Moyal, shot and killed two Jordanians – seventeen-year-old Muhammad Jawawdeh and Bashar Hamarneh, a physician. The Israeli Foreign Ministry said Moyal had acted in self-defense after Jawawdeh had stabbed him with a screwdriver. Hamarneh was a bystander. (Ben Lynfield, 2017: A Year of Change and Challenge for Israel’s Relations in the Region, JERUSALEM POST (Dec. 28, 2017).) However, the King of Jordan has demanded that the Israeli government put the Israeli security guard on trial. (Suleiman Al-Khalidi, Jordan’s King Demands Israel Put Guard on Trial for Killing Jordanians, REUTERS (July 27, 2017).) Furthermore, Jordan’s attorney general has announced that he intends to pursue murder and illegal-weapons-possession charges against the Israeli security guard in an international court, where he does not enjoy diplomatic immunity as he did in Jordan. (Jack Khoury, Israeli Embassy Guard to Be Charged With Murder, Jordan Says, Vowing to Head to International Courts, HAARETZ (July 28, 2017).)