Jordan deports husband of Ahlam al-Tamimi, released Palestinian prisoner wanted by US

Jordan deports husband of Ahlam al-Tamimi, released Palestinian prisoner wanted by US
3 min read
02 October, 2020
The husband of Ahlam al-Tamimi was expelled from Jordan after authorities refused to renew his residency permit.
Ahlam al-Tamimi is wanted by the United States [FBI]
Jordan has deported the husband of Ahlam al-Tamimi - the Palestinian woman who was convicted in Israel of a 2001 bombing that killed 15 people.

Nizar al-Tamimi was asked by the Jordanian authorities to leave the country, Arabi 21 reported.

Nizar's Jordanian residency was being renewed every 3 months. After its most recent exipry the authorities informed him that it would not be renewed again and that he had to leave the country, the news outlet reported.

Nizar al-Tamimi left Jordan on Thursday for the Qatari capital Doha.

Jordan has been under pressure from the United States to extradite Ahlam Al-Tamimi, who is wanted by the US on a charge of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against American nationals.

Ahlam al-Tamimi is on the FBI's list of "most wanted terrorists" for her role in the suicide bombing at a crowded Jerusalem pizzeria. It was one of the deadliest attacks during the second Palestinian uprising.

Ahlam al-Tamimi has lived freely in Jordan, which has an extradition treaty with the US, since Israel released her in a 2011 prisoner swap with the militant group Hamas.

Jordanian authorities have rebuffed US requests to turn her over, despite the extradition treaty. Jordan has a large Palestinian population.

It is unclear whether Ahlam al-Tamimi will follow her husband to Qatar.

An anonymous source told Arabi 21 that he believed that "what happened to Nizar is a deportation, no doubt related to his wife Ahlam who is being pursued by the American authorities".

The source said that "deporting" Nizar "will cause great problems for the family, especially since Ahlam's leaving Jordan poses a threat to her safety".

The US State Department said in June that billions of dollars of foreign assistance to Jordan could be used as leverage to get Jordanian authorities to extradite al-Tamimi.

The US has long been a major provider of aid to Jordan. In early 2018, the Trump administration signed a five-year, $6.4 billion aid agreement with Jordan that increased the annual amount of aid by $275 million to $1.3 billion.

Al-Tamimi was arrested by Israel weeks after the bombing and sentenced to 16 life terms but released in the 2011 Israel-Hamas prisoner swap and moved to Jordan. She has made frequent media appearances, expressing no remorse for the attack and saying she was pleased with the high death toll.

Among the victims of the attack was Malka Roth, a 15-year-old Israeli-American girl, whose father, Arnold Roth, has led a campaign seeking al-Tamimi’s extradition.

The blast at the Sbarro restaurant in downtown Jerusalem went off on the afternoon of August 9, 2001. The assailant detonated explosives hidden in a guitar case packed with nails. Among those killed were seven between the ages of 2 and 16, and scores were wounded.

Al-Tamimi, a Hamas activist who allegedly chose the target and guided the bomber there, said in a 2017 interview with AP that Palestinians have a right to resist Israeli rule by any means.

In 2017, Jordan's high court ruled she could not be extradited, reportedly saying the 1995 extradition treaty had not been ratified. She has also claimed the US has no right to charge her because she was already tried and sentenced in Israel.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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