Terrorists failed in their attempt Thursday afternoon to assassinate Israel's ambassador to Jordan, Danny Nevo when they targeted an Israeli diplomatic convoy heading for the Allenby crossing. The ambassador was not in his car at the time of the bombing, nor was anyone else injured in the attack, according to a statement by Israel's foreign ministry.
IDF Army Radio reported the convoy was approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the crossing when the roadside bombs were detonated, both by remote control, as the cars passed. The timing was apparently just slightly off, enough to have missed seriously damaging the vehicles.
The convoy headed for a Jordanian army base following the attack. Authorities blocked roads and threw a dragnet around the area while soldiers conducted an intensive search for the perpetrators. Firefighters, police officers and a number of ambulances were also sent to the scene.
Both Jordanian and Israeli security personnel are investigating the incident. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
Jordan is home to a large Palestinian population, most of whom vehemently oppose the Hashemite Kingdom's peaceful relations with its Jewish neighbor, despite the formal peace accord signed between the two countries in 1994. Egypt, the first Arab nation to sign a peace treaty with Israel, preceded Jordan by venturing into the diplomatic arena some 20 years earlier.
According to an Israeli official who spoke with the AFP news agency in Amman by telephone, "The embassy convoy left Amman and was heading for the Hussein Bridge when the blast occurred." The diplomat was referring to the Allenby Bridge crossing that links Israel with Jordan, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Amman.
Jordanian officials issued a similar statement to Fox TV News. "An explosive device exploded on the side of the road leading to the Jordan Valley," said Jordanian Information Minister Nabil Sharif. "This happened as some civilian vehicles were passing by, including two Israeli diplomatic cars. There were no injuries, and authorities have launched an investigation."
It is not uncommon for Israeli personnel to head back across the border for the weekend, which in Jordan begins on Thursday evenings, (Friday is the Islamic Sabbath day), with the work week resuming on Sunday morning. The schedule is somewhat similar to that in Israel, where the weekend starts Friday afternoon -- the Jewish Sabbath begins Friday evening and ends Saturday after sunset. Israel's work week also resumes on Sunday.