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 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. 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 has promised to submit a report on the incident tomorrow, and the Jordanian government will announce measures to be taken after that, state television said.
Jordanian and Palestinian media haven’t carried witness accounts. 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 Zeiter rode hadn’t passed into the West Bank. The Israeli military said it had no information on the whereabouts of the bus.
Muhana said Zeiter’s family was traveling from Jordan to claim his body.
Jordan’s Ro’ya TV said Zeiter’s family didn’t know he was going to the West Bank. They cited his father, Alaa, as saying Zeiter had been under stress because his young son had been hospitalized.
The crossing, which primarily serves Palestinians and goods crossing between the West Bank and Jordan, was briefly closed in both directions after the shooting, the military said.
In a separate incident later today, soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian youth who threw rocks at a bus and a second vehicle outside the Jewish settlement of Beit-El near Ramallah, according to an Israeli army spokeswoman, speaking anonymously under military rules.