Angry protests at Israeli embassy in Amman over judge’s death
Jordan demands Israel probe killing of Raed Zeiter at border crossing; IDF says he was shot as he tried to grab gun from soldier
Some 200 Jordanians demonstrated near the Israeli embassy in the Jordanian capital Amman for several hours on Monday evening over the shooting death by an IDF soldier of a Jordanian magistrate’s court judge at the Allenby border crossing between the two countries.
The crowd attempted to break into the compound, according to Jordanian media. Jordanian security forces were deployed in the area to prevent the protesters from reaching the embassy.
Eventually, after embassy workers were trapped inside the building for hours, Jordanian security forces managed to disperse the protesters late Monday evening, and the embassy staffers were able to leave for their homes.
The Jordanian parliament is due to discuss the matter on Tuesday, Army Radio reported.
Earlier Monday, Raed Zeiter, 38, was shot and killed by an IDF soldier.
According to the IDF, Zeiter, a Palestinian who lived in Nablus until 2011, had attacked a soldier and”apparently tried” to snatch his rifle when he was shot.
The Jordanian government asked Israel to investigate the circumstances of Zeiter’s death.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh summoned Israel’s acting ambassador in Amman to complain about the incident. Judeh said that Jordan expected a detailed report on the incident from Israel, and would conduct its own investigation that would be submitted to the country’s authorities.
A Jordanian security official told AFP that Zeiter worked as a judge in Amman and had left for the West Bank early on Monday.
Jordan’s Justice Ministry confirmed the information, saying he worked at a magistrate’s court in the capital.
Family members in Amman expressed shock over his death.
“We did not know that Raed was in the West Bank. I went to the court to check if he was working and I was told that he did not go to work today,” said his 70-year-old father, Alaa Zeiter, himself a former judge.
“My son is peaceful and professional. I am shocked,” he told AFP by phone, before breaking down in tears.
The Palestinian Authority strongly condemned the incident and demanded an international investigation into the circumstances of Zeiter’s death.
“The Palestinian government vigorously condemns the shooting at close range of Judge Raed Zeiter… while he was coming in from Jordan,” it said.
It also called for an “international investigative committee to probe this incident.”
The crossing was reopened in the afternoon.
Also Monday, IDF troops shot and killed an 18-year-old Palestinian in an ambush operation near Ramallah after the youth was caught hurling rocks at cars and a bus.
The incident marked the second shooting of a Palestinian that day, following Zeiter’s death.
AFP contributed to this report.