A Jordanian judge was shot dead by Israeli soldiers at the King Hussein Bridge after he allegedly threatened the troop with a metal bar and tried to grab the gun of one of the soldier, New York Times reports.
According to Colonel Yaron Beit-On, officer-in-charge of the Israeli troops in the Jordan Valley, witnesses recounted that at approximately 9:30 am, Monday, while on board a bus containing 30 people, the Jordanian judge grabbed a metal bar and started threatening the Israeli soldiers who were doing a routine check-up on the vehicle. The judge also reportedly tried to grab one of the soldier’s guns
The Jordanian judge was allegedly heard shouting “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar”, or “God is Great, God is Great” while threatening the Israeli soldiers.
Yaron-Beit says the judge was shot in the leg and was again shot multiple times though he cannot confirm exactly how many times bullets were fired.
The Jordanian judge, Raed Zeiter, was of Palestinian origin. He has a doctorate degree and worked for the magistrate courts in Amman, Jordan.
A father of two, 38 year old Zeiter has not been involved in any political activity or arrests prior the incident at the border.
One of his sons, a 5 year old boy, is in critical condition in a Jordanian hospital due to an unrelated incident.
The Jordanian foreign ministry was outraged by the shooting and condemned the killing of Zaeter. The Palestinian Authority demanded international bodies to do an investigation on the killing.
Zeiter’s father, Alaa, said that his son was “peaceful and professional”.
Yaron-Beit’s account of the witnesses’ stories was questioned by both Jordanian and Palestinian authorities. According to WAFA, state-controlled news agency of Palestine, witnesses of the shooting denied that Zeiter tried to seize a gun from one of the Israeli soldiers.
Incidents of shooting are rare in the King Hussein Bridge, according to Al Jazeera, though areas bordering Israel and neighboring countries are generally subject to occasional violence.
Just December last year, the Inquisitr reported about the exchange of shots between Israeli and Lebanese troops in another part of the border.
Many international human rights groups have repeatedly condemned Israel’s seemingly excessive use of force in the West Bank. Amnesty International says that the increased violence perpetrated by the Israeli military can be considered a war crime.
The Jordanian government has summoned Israeli officers to explain the circumstances that surround the killing of the Jordanian judge.
[Image from Benkamorvan via Flickr]