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Saturday, Feb 24, 2024

Jordan MP charged in West Bank gun-smuggling attempt: lawyer

Jordan MP charged in West Bank gun-smuggling attempt: lawyer

A Jordanian member of parliament was charged in the kingdom Tuesday over an attempt to smuggle weapons into the Israeli-occupied West Bank, his lawyer said.
Imad Al-Adwan, 35, faces a prison sentence of up to 15 years if convicted.

He was detained at the Israel-administered Allenby (King Hussein) crossing between Jordan and the West Bank on April 22, when Israeli security forces allegedly found 12 rifles and 194 pistols in his car, Israel’s Shin Bet internal security agency said at the time.

Israel later transferred him to Jordanian authorities.

“Imad Al-Adwan appeared today before the state security court and was questioned by the prosecutor following the confiscation of firearms and gold in his possession by the Israeli authorities,” his lawyer, Ali Al-Mubaeedin, told AFP.

The MP is charged with exporting weapons with the intention of illegal use, and committing acts likely to disrupt public order and threaten security of the country, the lawyer added.

Jordan in 1994 became the second Arab country to recognize and sign a peace treaty with neighboring Israel, after Egypt.

Jordan’s official Petra news agency reported earlier that “other defendants admitted to trading and smuggling weapons, gold and e-cigarettes in association” with Adwan.

Ahmad Safadi, speaker of the Jordanian parliament’s lower house, told local media that after Adwan’s release by Israel, the legislature had voted to strip him of immunity from prosecution, following a court request.

Adwan is a lawyer and member of the Jordanian parliament’s Palestine committee.

Since February 2022, Adwan used his diplomatic passport 12 times to smuggle various goods, including “birds, pigeons, electronic cigarettes and gold,” the Shin Bet statement alleged.

From the beginning of this year, he began smuggling weapons across the border “out of greed, and received large sums of money,” it added.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since the 1967 Six-Day War. The territory has seen worsening violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict this year.

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