Jordan's King Visits Family of Killed 'Martyr' Judge

King Abdullah II visits the family of the judge who was shot by Israeli troops. Palace describes the judge as a "martyr".

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Elad Benari,

Jordan's King Abdullah
Jordan's King Abdullah

Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Sunday visited the family of a Jordanian judge who was killed last week by Israeli soldiers after he attacked a soldier and tried to grab his weapon, AFP reported.

The report cited the palace in Amman as having said that the King visited the family to offer his condolences over the death of their son, who was described as “a martyr.”

A picture on Twitter showed the king hugging the father of 38-year-old Raed Zeiter, reported AFP.

"His majesty King Abdullah II offers condolences to the family of martyr judge Raed Zeiter," reads the caption.

King Abdullah II's tweet. Screenshot

IDF soldiers shot and killed  Zeiter, a Palestinian-Jordanian, at the Allenby border crossing last Monday. The shooting sparked the fury of both Jordan and the Palestinian Authority (PA), with protesters in Amman demanding the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and the abrogation of the two countries' 1994 peace treaty.

Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur has held Israel "completely responsible" for Zeiter's death and demanded an apology for the "hideous" killing.

On Friday, around 1,000 people demonstrated near the Israeli embassy in Amman to protest Zeiter’s killing.

The protesters waved Jordanian flags and banners reading "the people want to cancel the (1994) peace treaty," and "shut down the Zionist entity's embassy and kick the ambassador out for the sake of the martyr's blood.” They also burned Israeli flags.

On Wednesday, the lower house of Jordan's parliament, incensed by Zeiter's killing, demanded in a non-binding resolution that the government free Jordanian soldier Ahmad Daqamseh, who was jailed after he opened fire on a group of Israeli schoolgirls in 1997, killing seven. 

On Saturday, Daqmaseh’s son told AFP that his father had gone on a hunger strike to demand his release following Zeiter’s killing.

"My father started a hunger strike on Friday. He said he demands the government release him from jail after the Israelis killed Jordanian judge Raed Zeiter," the son Seif told the news agency.

Israel has expressed regret for the shooting but stopped short of apologizing to Jordan.