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July 10, 2016 7:29 pm

Infiltration of ‘Mentally Unstable’ Jordanian Into Israel Has Border-Community Residents Panicked Over Potential Entry of Terrorists

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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A resident of the Jordan Valley neutralizing the Jordanian who infiltrated into Israel. Photo: Ran Hachmon/Walla Screenshot.

A resident of the Jordan Valley neutralizing the Jordanian who infiltrated into Israel. Photo: Ram Hachmon/Walla Screenshot.

The infiltration into Israel on Friday of a “mentally unstable” Jordanian who attempted to commit a car-jacking has border-community residents panicked about breaches in security that could enable the entry of terrorists, the Hebrew news site Walla reported on Sunday.

According to the report, the Jordanian crossed the border into Israel via the Yarmuch River, which is shallow during the summer. After entering the country, he walked through the fields and orchards of Kibbutz Afikim. When he arrived at the side of Route 90, he threw a rock at the car of 23-year-old Rotem Aharoni, who slammed on her brakes and crashed into a traffic barrier. The Jordanian then opened her door and attempted to pull her out of the car.

Aharoni told Walla that the man was yelling in Arabic as he attempted to yank her out of her vehicle, ostensibly for the purpose of stealing it. But she fought him off, which caused him to try his luck with the car behind her. When unsuccessful, he fled.

Aharoni said that a young Arab passerby helped her calm down while he phoned her family and the police.

Walla reported that not once throughout the incident was the IDF even aware of the infiltration of the Jordanian citizen, who — after fleeing the scene of the failed car-jacking — continued north on foot for three kilometers (nearly two miles). It was only when he reached the area of Kibbutz Degania Bet in the Jordan Valley that he was spotted and shot by local security personnel. He was then evacuated to an Israeli hospital for medical treatment.

Residents of the area expressed concern that neither the IDF nor the Jordanian army had noticed the man’s illegal passage. “Even though this particular person was not a terrorist, one cannot rule out the possibility that he was sent by somebody who wanted to test IDF alertness, and the result is very worrisome,” said one of the residents of the area.

A short while after the incident, Jordan Valley Regional Council head Idan Greenbaum called it a “grave” security breach, which proves, yet again, “the crucial nature of the communities’ local security forces, which know how to react both quickly and professionally, as they did in this case.”

The IDF Spokesman’s Office told Walla that the ability of the “mentally unstable” Jordanian to infiltrate into Israeli territory was under investigation.

Israel and Jordan have had official diplomatic relations since the signing of a peace treaty in 1994. However, due to Jordan’s recent backing of Palestinian claims that Israel has been trying to change the status quo on the Temple Mount – the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque – tensions between Jerusalem and Amman have been strained. Israel continues fiercely to deny the accusation.

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