Jordan judge tried to 'strangle' soldier: Israel army
AFP, Tuesday 11 Mar 2014


A Jordanian-Palestinian judge who was shot dead by Israeli troops at the Jordan border tried to snatch a weapon and "strangle" a soldier, a preliminary army investigation showed on Tuesday.

The incident occurred Monday when troops opened fire at the Allenby Bridge border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan, killing a Palestinian with Jordanian citizenship, claiming he had tried to snatch a weapon from a soldier.

But Palestinian witnesses said the man was shot following an argument over a cigarette in an incident which prompted a furious response from the Palestinian Authority and Amman.

In a statement, the military said it had conducted a "comprehensive investigation" which included extensive questioning of witnesses by security personnel.

They said the man, identified by the Palestinians as 38-year-old Raed Zeiter, had first charged at the soldiers with a metal pole, prompting them to fire at his legs.

When he began strangling a soldier they shot him dead.

"The preliminary conclusion of the investigation indicates that the terrorist attacked the soldier. He charged at the soldiers shouting 'Allahu Akbar' (God is greatest) with a metal pole, and then attempted to seize the soldier's weapon prompting the soldiers to respond by firing towards his lower extremities," it said.

"The suspect then began to strangle a soldier and the force resorted to using live fire once again."

It said the investigation, which is being handled by the military police, was ongoing.

A Jordanian security official confirmed to AFP that Zeiter worked as a judge in Amman. Jordan's justice ministry said he worked at a magistrates court in the capital.

Several hours after Zeiter's death, troops shot dead a 20-year-old Palestinian near the West Bank city of Ramallah. The army said he had been throwing stones at soldiers.

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