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Allenby Crossing

IDF soldiers at the site of the shooting at the Allenby bridge Photo: Courtesy Israel Airports Authority
IDF soldiers at the site of the shooting at the Allenby bridge Photo: Courtesy Israel Airports Authority
 
 

Israelis shoot, kill Jordanian judge at border

Nablus resident shot to death at Allenby crossing on Monday identified as Jordanian judge; Palestinian government officials call for independent investigation of case, calling killing 'one of a series violation of human rights in Palestine'.

Associated Press
Published: 03.10.14, 19:01 / Israel News

The man shot to death by Israeli guards earlier Monday after he tried to attack an IDF soldier and snatch his rifle at the Allenby border crossing was identified to be a Jordanian judge by the name of Raed Zueter.

 

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The shooting took place at the Allenby crossing as the man was going from Jordan into the West Bank, the Israeli army said and as a result anti-Israel protests broke out in Jordan.

 

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The man was initially identified as a Palestinian but a Jordanian judicial official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, later confirmed that he was a judge working in Amman since 2009.

 

The judge's father, Alaa Zueter, told The Associated Press that he had gone to court to see his son today but didn't find him at work and only later heard on the media what had happened.

 

"I didn't know my son went to the West Bank today," said the man, crying over the telephone. He said he didn't know what his son's business was in the Palestinian territory.

 

In the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority condemned the killing and called for an independent investigation, saying: "This killing is one of a series of human rights violations in Palestine."

 

At a protest that took place later Monday outside the Israeli Embassy in Amman, Jordanian demonstrators demanded the extradition of the soldier who killed Zueter and called for the cancellation of the peace agreement. The Jordanian parliament strongly condemned the incident.

 

Protestors also shouted slogans such as "No embassy and no ambassador", and "No Zionist embassy on Jordanian soil". The protest's organizers also demanded that authorities release Ahmad Dakamseh, who shot to death seven Israeli schoolgirls in 1997.

 

Meanwhile, Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh summoned the Israeli embassy's official representative and expressed the Jordanian government's stance regarding the shooting. He asked to inform the Israeli government that Jordan expects to receive a comprehensive report that includes the details of the incident.

 

'Allah akbar'

"The terrorist ran toward soldiers yelling 'Allaha akbar' attempting to seize their weapons," the IDF said. "The soldiers felt an immediate threat to their lives and fired toward his lower extremities. The suspect then began to strangle a soldier and the force resorted to firing again."

 

Engineering corps soldiers at the border crossing started an arrest procedure according to the rules of engagement that included shooting at Za'eiter's legs to try to stop him, at which point he attempted to choke a soldier, and was shot to death.

 

Following the incident, the IDF closed the border crossing that connects the West Bank and Jordan. 

 

Shootings at the Allenby crossing on the West Bank-Jordan border are rare. Israel and Jordan signed a peace agreement 20 years ago and have close security ties.

 

The border terminal is operated jointly by Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. It is the main border crossing for Palestinians from the West Bank traveling to neighboring Jordan and beyond, and it is a crossing point for goods between Israel, the West Bank and Jordan.

 

Foreign diplomats and tourists also travel through the border crossing. Israelis are not permitted to use it.

A spokeswoman for the Jordanian Foreign Ministry, Sabah al-Rafei, said authorities were trying to get more details on the incident from the Israeli side.

 

About half of Jordan's population is Palestinian, and many Palestinians in the West Bank hold Jordanian citizenship. The Palestinians seek the West Bank, captured by Israel from Jordan in 1967, as part of a future independent state.

 

Yoav Zitun, Elior Levy and Itay Blumenthal contributed to this report.

 

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