Nasser Judeh, Jordan’s information Minister, reported on Thursday night that six tourists, including an Israeli Arab woman, where shot by a gunman who opened fire at a tourist bus in Jordan’s capital, Amman. The gunman was chased by policemen and shot himself in the head. The wounded are an Israeli Arab woman, four Lebanese tourists, and their Jordanian driver.
Judeh stated that the attack appears to be criminally motivated and added that the assailant is in critical condition at a hospital in Amman. The assailant was chased by the policemen near the Roman amphitheatre late on Wednesday and shot himself in the head.
The minister added that the investigation is still underway but added that all information available leads to the conclusion that this attack is an isolated incident.
Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that a Jordanian police official identified Thursday’s attacker as Tha’er Al Waheedy, 19, a resident of Al Baq’a refugee camp, one of the largest 11 Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan.
Haaretz quoted a Jordanian official stating that Al Waheedy had a criminal record and was implicated in previous cases of attempted murder and looting. The official was talking on condition of anonymity as the investigation is still underway.
In Israel, officials at the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that the incident cannot be viewed as a terrorist attack and that the motivation is criminal.
A similar attack took place in 2006 when a gunman opened fire at tourists outside the amphitheatre and killed a British man; six other tourists were wounded in the attack.
In 2005, 63 persons were killed as suicide bombers targeted three hotels in Amman. One of the bombings targeted the Radisson SAS Hotel in Amman and 18 Palestinians, member of Al Akhras family of Sielet Al-Thaher village, were killed in the blast. They were attending a wedding of one of their family members.