April 23, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Arrests Jordanian Lawmaker on Suspicion of Gunrunning

April 23, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Arrests Jordanian Lawmaker on Suspicion of Gunrunning

Latest Developments

Israel has arrested a Jordanian lawmaker for allegedly trying to smuggle weapons and gold across the countries’ border, Amman said on April 23, in a case that could fray already strained ties between the U.S.-backed security partners. Imad al-Adwan’s case was being attended to “by all relevant authorities,” the Jordanian Foreign Ministry said after local media broke news of his detention at the Allenby Bridge (King Hussein) crossing.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry declined comment. An Israel Police spokesperson said only that a “security investigation” was under way and that a court-approved gag order, issued on April 23 and valid through May 2, restricted further reporting on the case within Israel. The phrasing of the Israel Police statement suggested that al-Adwan is suspected of terrorism-related offenses — potentially a plan to supply Palestinians with arms and funding for attacks on Israelis. Jordanian media described al-Adwan as a lawyer and member of the “Palestine Committee” in the Amman parliament.

Expert Analysis

“Jordan is an important American and Israeli ally, but it is becoming more of a problem by the day. The evidence: Amman refuses to extradite Palestinian terrorist Ahlam Tamimi, who played a role in the murder of two Americans in a 2001 bombing in Jerusalem. Amman incites against Israel every Ramadan, fanning the flames of Palestinian violence in Jerusalem. The Jordanians refuse to join moderate Arab states like the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt in pursuing normalization with Israel. And now, a Jordanian lawmaker has been arrested by Israel for trying to smuggle weapons and gold across the border with Israel in order to arm and fund Palestinians for terror attacks against Israelis. It’s long past time for Congress to send a message to the Jordanian king that this behavior will no longer be tolerated.” Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“The Jordanian parliament has long been a stage for the worst kind of anti-Israel vitriol. Now, it appears, one of its members has shifted from speech to action. This would constitute a major breach of both the word and the spirit of the almost three-decade-old peace treaty between Jordan and Israel. Amman should make amends, and publicly, fast.” Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Related Analysis

Jordan’s Threat to the Middle Eastern Order,” by Jonathan Schanzer and Mark Dubowitz

Jordan’s King Incites Anti-Israel Sentiment,” FDD Flash Brief

Neither Here Nor There: Jordan and the Abraham Accords,” by Jonathan Schanzer


Arab Politics Israel Jordan Palestinian Politics