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IDF Insists Jordanian Man Shot Dead by Troops was a Terrorist

IDF Spokesman says Raed Zeiter tried to grab a soldier's weapon. Diplomats beseiged in Amman embassy. Security cameras malfunctioned?
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 3/11/2014, 10:01 AM

Incident at Jordan Valley (file)
Incident at Jordan Valley (file)
Reuters

The IDF insisted Tuesday that Raed Zeiter, a Jordanian citizen who was shot dead Monday morning at the Allenby crossing into Israel, had attacked soldiers and tried to grab a weapon before he was shot dead. Arab MK Ahmed Tibi called on Israel to release security camera footage of the incident, but it appears the security cameras did not operate Monday, for reasons as yet unknown.

According to Voice of Israel public radio, IDF sources said that Zeiter “was on his way to carry out a terror attack.” He struck out at the soldiers with a metal rod, shouted "Allahu akbar" and attempted to snatch a weapon from one of them, they said.

The soldiers felt that they were under mortal threat and were therefore allowed to fire. They fired at his lower limbs but when he continued to fight, they shot to kill.

Hundreds of Jordanian citizens rioted outside the Israeli Embassy in Amman, Jordan, Monday night. Embassy security instructed all personnel to gather in the Embassy building so as to be better protected – and the diplomats did so, along with their families. They reportedly dispersed at about 9:00 p.m., once the threat level had subsided.

According to Bethlehem-based Ma'an news, a man who was with Raed Zeiter says he suffered three gunshot wounds to the chest.

Mohammad Zayd told Ma'an that about 8:00 a.m. he, Zeiter and another woman were late to return to the bus after the first Israeli inspection point.

When they were returning, “an Israeli soldier pushed Zeiter, they started scuffling and Zeiter was brought to the floor. Zeiter then stood up and shoved the soldier, who in turn fired a shot that barely missed Zeiter, Zayd said.

“The soldier then proceeded to fire three shots that hit Zeiter in the chest, leaving him dead on the floor,” Zayd added in Ma'an's version.

The IDF's Jordan Valley Regiment Commander, Col. Yaron Beit On, told reporters later in the day that as the man attempted to snatch an Israeli soldier's gun, another soldier shot him in the leg. The man then managed to grab a metal bar from one of the Israeli troops, Beit On said. When he tried to use it as a weapon, a soldier shot and killed him. The bar is apparently a rod with a mirror affxed to its tip, which is used to search the undersides of vehicles for explosives.

He said that the incident occurred at around 9:30 a.m., and that the man was carrying two suitcases with him.