Jordanians Demand Investigation on Terrorist's Shooting

Jordanians demanded an investigation into the death of a man who tried to steal the weapon from an IDF soldier, and then choke him.

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David Lev,

Allenby crossing
Allenby crossing
Flash 90

Jordanians protested outside the Israeli embassy in Amman Monday night, demanding an investigation into an incident earlier in which a Jordanian was killed in what Israel said was a terrorist attack. Raed Zeiter, originally from Shechem and now working as a judge at a magistrates court in Amman, tried to grab a gun from an IDF soldier next to the Allenby Bridge – a crossing point between Israel and Jordan – and was shot and killed by soldiers when he refused to back down.

According to witnesses, Zeiter, 38, tried to wrestle the gun away from a soldier – and when he couldn't, he began choking him. Soldiers warned him to back down, but he refused.

Jordan's foreign minister summoned the Israeli charge d'affaires to "strongly condemn" the shooting and demand an immediate probe, a statement said. "The Jordanian government is expecting a comprehensive report on the incident from the Israeli government. Jordan wants an immediate investigation without any delay," a statement quoted Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh as saying. The Palestinian Authority also strongly condemned the incident and demanded an "international investigation" into the circumstances of Zeiter's death.

Around 200 people demonstrated outside the Israeli embassy in Amman, demanding the Jordanian government expel the Israeli ambassador."We don't want a Zionist embassy on Jordanian territory! Down with the peace agreement" between the two countries, they chanted.

A Jordanian security official said Zeiter worked as a judge at a magistrates court in the Jordanian capital of Amman, a claim the Jordanian justice ministry reportedly confirmed. The attacker's father, Alaa Zeiter, stated he didn't know his son was crossing to Samaria, adding "my son is peaceful and professional. I am shocked.” He added that he had no idea that his son had tried to enter Israel Monday.

PA sources claimed Zeiter lived in Samaria until 2011, until he left the area and hadn't returned since. Even so, the PA called for an "international investigative committee to probe this incident."

The Jordan Valley, where the attack occurred, has been part of US Secretary of State John Kerry's proposed peace deal, which would see the area transfer to Palestinian Authority (PA) control. MKs have argued the area is essential for Israeli security, aside from historical and moral arguments for Israeli control of the area.