Man killed on border identified as Jordanian judge

Raed Zeiter, 38, shot when he reportedly tried to snatch a gun from an IDF soldier at Israeli-Jordanian crossing

The Allenby border crossing in the Jordan Valley (photo credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90)
The Allenby border crossing in the Jordan Valley (photo credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

A Palestinian man was shot and killed at an Israeli-Jordanian border crossing Monday morning, after reportedly attacking a soldier there.

The incident occurred at the Allenby Bridge border crossing in the Jordan Valley, connecting the West Bank to Jordan.

The dead man was identified by the Palestinian Ma’an news agency as Nablus resident Raed Zeiter, 38.

According to a Facebook page associated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s office, Zeiter was a Jordanian passport holder and served as a civil court judge in the Hashemite Kingdom.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, Zeiter attacked one of the soldiers and attempted to snatch a gun from him.

Ofer Lefler, spokesman for the Israel Airports Authority which is responsible for all border crossings, told AFP the incident occurred after the attacker crossed at Allenby from Jordan.

“A 30-year-old Palestinian man who crossed the bridge attacked a soldier, who shot him, ” he said.

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.

Palestinian security officials said he was originally from the northern West Bank city of Nablus, but had left the territories in 2011 and not returned.

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.”

No one else was hurt in the incident.

The crossing was reopened in the afternoon.

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