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Israel releases Jordanian MP arrested on suspicion of arms smuggling

Imad al-Adwan could face prosecution at home after his parliamentary immunity was revoked
Imad al-Adwan speaking in the Jordanian parliament (Roya News)
Imad al-Adwan speaking in the Jordanian parliament (Roya News)

Israel released a Jordanian lawmaker on Sunday after he was held for two weeks on suspicion of smuggling arms and gold to the occupied West Bank. 

The Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service, said Imad al-Adwan was handed over to Jordanian authorities for "further investigation and prosecution".

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, he was released after diplomatic pressure from Amman. 

Sinan al-Majali, a spokesperson for the Jordanian foreign ministry, confirmed that the process of "handing over MP Imad Al-Adwan by the Israeli authorities" was underway on Sunday. 

Adwan could face prosecution at home after his parliamentary immunity was revoked. 

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Shin Bet said investigations showed he used his diplomatic passport to smuggle various types of goods into the West Bank 12 times before, starting in February 2022, including guns, gold, birds and electronic cigarettes.

He was arrested on 22 April while trying to cross the Allenby Bridge from Jordan into the occupied West Bank. He allegedly was carrying 12 rifles and 194 handguns. 

A lawyer for Adwan in Israel confirmed he was no longer in custody in Israel but said he could not comment on the charges, according to Reuters.

One of Jordan's youngest MPs, Adwan is known for his strong positions defending the Palestinian cause. He has previously criticised the Jordanian government for not being forceful enough against Israeli violations at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque and the bombing of Gaza.

In May 2021, he co-sponsored a letter alongside MP Khalil Attiyeh demanding the expulsion of Israel's ambassador to Amman in response to the "attacks against Al-Aqsa Mosque" at that time.

In the parliament session that accompanied the declaration, he asked why Jordan's own ambassador remained in Israel while troops were attacking worshippers in the mosque. He also suggested tabling a no-confidence vote in the government.

Elected in 2020 in the Balqa governorate northeast of Amman, he belongs to no political party and comes from one of Jordan's largest tribes, the Adwan.

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