August 8, 2020

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09-Jul-20: Jordanian laborer allowed in to Israel to work in Eilat sought to be a martyr; convicted today as a terrorist
Jordanian laborer Taher Halef, convicted today in Israel on murder and
terrorism charges arising from a 2018 attack [Image Source: Times of Israel]

In today’s news –

A Jordanian man previously employed in Eilat was convicted Thursday on terrorism charges over a 2018 assault on two Israeli men in the Red Sea coastal city. The Beersheba District Court found Taher Halef guilty on two counts of attempted murder and for a “terrorist conspiracy.”
The conviction was handed down as part of a plea deal, as part of which Halef admitted to the crime and will be sentenced to 19 years in prison. According to the plea arrangement, Halef acknowledged that he used his entry permit to carry out a terror attack in Israel and die as a “martyr”… Halef began working in Israel days before the attack, after receiving a daily work permit from the Population and Immigration Authority. He succeeded in passing the screening process despite being flagged as a potential terrorist by the Jordanian manpower agency that first interviewed him. According to state prosecutors, Halef had been planning to attack Israelis for over a decade. They said he received help from cousins in Jordan on previous occasions when he sought to carry out attacks. [Times of Israel, July 9, 2020]

A year and a half ago, we posted here in our blog [“01-Dec-18: Suspected Eilat terror attack: Jordanian wielding hammer seriously injures two Israeli dock-workers“] that while Palestinian Arabs with Israeli work permits were generally barred from entering Eilat, the Israeli government started in June 2014 to issue permits for up to 1,500 Jordanian citizens to work in Eilat hotels. This Jordanian, as we noted then and as reported today too, came into the program with years of lusting for Jewish blood alredy behind him.

We noted back in December 2018 that there was no Jordan media coverage of the attack or the arrest or the terrorism backgroud of the suspect. We have checked just now. Almayadeen quotes Israeli reports tonight that the attacker was convicted. While it’s early in the news cycle, we can see no other mention in any of the Jordan news channels we monitor. We will keep tracking.

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