JERUSALEM (JTA) – Likud MK Oren Hazan was ordered by Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office to call off a fistfight with a Jordanian lawmaker.
Hazan had agreed to the fight with Yehiya al-Saud, also known for his temper, at the border between the two countries on Wednesday morning.
“The shoe of any Palestinian child is more honorable than this villain and his entity (meaning country) and the shoe of any Arab and Muslim is better than him and his rogue entity, which has no origin and religion,” al-Saud said, according to Jordanian reports.
In a tweet Tuesday evening, Hazan said he accepted the call by al-Saud to meet on the Allenby Bridge at 10 am the following day.
“I’ve got an offer he can’t refuse,” he also tweeted.
Subsequent tweets showed photos of Hazan having his hair trimmed at the barber in preparation for the fight, and in his car on the way to the Allenby Bridge. He said in a tweet he was coming “in peace.”
Less than an hour before the scheduled fight, however, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement that Chief-of-Staff Yoav Horovitz had ordered Hazan to stay away from the Allenby Bridge. Hazan later said he cancelled the face-to-face meeting, or brawl, with Saud at the prime minister’s request.
Hazan said he would ask the Foreign Ministry to organize a formal meeting with Saud.
The challenge comes on the heels of tensions between Jordan and Israel, including both the Temple Mount crisis and the shooting of two Jordanian civilians by an Israeli Embassy security guard after he was stabbed. Jordan objected to the hero’s welcome for the guard, Ziv Moyal, after arriving back in Israel along with the rest of the embassy staff, and has said it will not allow the diplomats to return to Jordan until there is an investigation of the guard and he is put on trial.
Saud reportedly has pulled a knife on a fellow lawmaker and cursed female lawmakers.
Hazan has been accused of sexually assaulting female employees at a bar he owned in Tel Aviv, doing drugs with and procuring prostitutes for guests at a casino he managed in Bulgaria, physically assaulting an official in his West Bank hometown, and making fun of a fellow Knesset member for being disabled – twice. He was admonished last week by the Knesset’s Ethics Committee for insults against female lawmakers.
During U.S. President Donald Trump’s May visit to Israel, Hazan was reprimanded for taking a selfie with Trump in the receiving line during the welcome ceremony at Ben-Gurion International Airport for the president and first lady.