An Arab terrorist was shot to death Monday morning at the Allenby Bridge crossing to Jordan, after he attacked an IDF soldier. The bridge, which is not open to Israeli Jews, was temporarily closed due to the incident as an investigation was carried out.
The confrontation apparently started when the terrorist attempted to wrest the soldier's gun away from him, leading the soldier to defend himself and in doing so shoot the attacker to death.
"A short while ago a Palestinian attempted to seize the weapon of a soldier at the Allenby Bridge crossing from Jordan. In response the forces at the scene opened fire towards the suspect. A hit was identified," read an IDF statement.
Ofer Lefler, spokesman for the Israel Airports Authority which manages the border crossings, told AFP the attacker had crossed the bridge from Jordan to carry out the attack. A group of Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedics who arrived on the scene to resuscitate the terrorist were eventually forced to pronounce him dead.
The Jordan Valley area around the bridge was closed for an investigation by IDF and police forces, in an attempt to ascertain whether the incident was part of a larger terror attack, reports Walla!.
Palestinian Authority (PA) security officials have identified the attacker as 38-year-old Raed Zeiter of Shechem (Nablus), located in Samaria.
Meanwhile 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."
However, 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.