Jordanian MP charged with trying to smuggle guns into West Bank

Israeli forces arrested Imad Adwan as he crossed border and handed him to Jordan

Imad Al Adwan was detained at the Allenby Crossing between Jordan and the West Bank on April 22
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A Jordanian security court has charged a member of the kingdom's parliament with illicit weapons trading after Israel detained him at a Jordan River crossing last month, his lawyer said.

Imad Adwan, 35, was also charged with undermining security and order.

His case has highlighted the intricate ties between Israel and Jordan, whose population comprises large numbers of people of Palestinian origin. The two countries signed a peace treaty in 1994 and co-operate closely on security, but differ on the issue of Palestinian rights.

Israeli security personnel arrested Mr Adwan, a member of a Jordanian tribe partly based in the Jordan Valley, at the Allenby Bridge.

He was handed over to Jordan on May 7 and immediately arrested, one of his relatives said.

His lawyer, Ali Mubaeedin, told AFP that Mr Adwan appeared in court on Tuesday and could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

“He was questioned by the prosecutor following the confiscation of firearms and gold in his possession by the Israeli authorities,” Mr Mubaeedin said

Jordan's official news agency reported last week that “other defendants admitted to trading and smuggling weapons, gold and e-cigarettes in association” with Mr Al Adwan.

It said the legislature had stripped him of immunity from prosecution. All significant powers in Jordan are with the monarch, King Abdullah. The legislator is mostly made up of deputies who come from a constellation of tribes that form the bedrock of support for the political system.

Mr Al Adwan is a lawyer and member of the Jordanian parliament's Palestine committee.

Since February last year, Mr Al Adwan used his diplomatic passport 12 times to smuggle goods, including “pigeons, electronic cigarettes and gold”, according to Shin Bet, the Israeli intelligence agency.

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

Updated: May 17, 2023, 12:33 PM