Israeli troops shot and killed a Jordanian judge of Palestinian descent at a West Bank-Jordan crossing after he allegedly tried to grab a gun from a border guard, causing new frictions with the Palestinians and Jordan.
The military said the judge, 38-year-old Raed Zeiter, lunged toward the Allenby Bridge terminal yelling, ”Allahu Akbar,” or God is Great, and tried to wrest a weapon from an Israeli soldier. Soldiers opened fire at his legs to try to restrain him, at which point he tried to strangle a soldier and was shot to death, the military said. The crossing is under overall Israeli security control.
Jordan’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Nasser Judeh, summoned Israel’s No. 2 diplomat to Amman to condemn the shooting and demand the Israeli government immediately open an investigation, Jordan’s state-run Petra news agency reported. Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah issued a statement condemning the judge’s killing and calling for an international investigation.
Petra said the judge was shot after an altercation with Israeli troops. Mr Zeiter lived with his family in Amman, where he was a judge in the Court of First Instance, the news service said.
Jordan’s Minister for Media Affairs, Mohammad Momani, said Israel had promised to submit a report on the incident on Tuesday, and the Jordanian government would announce measures to be taken after that, state television said.
To reach the crossing, people must board a bus often packed with passengers, and Nazmi Muhana, the Palestinian manager at the crossing, said the vehicle Mr Zeiter rode had not passed into the West Bank. The Israeli military said it had no information on the whereabouts of the bus.
Mr Muhana said Mr Zeiter’s family was travelling from Jordan to claim his body.
Jordan’s Ro’ya TV said Mr Zeiter’s family did not know he was going to the West Bank. They cited his father, Alaa, as saying Mr Zeiter had been under stress because his young son had been admitted to hospital.