Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian at Jordan crossing

Photo: Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian at Jordan crossing / Israel-Arab Relations

Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian judge from Jordan on Monday in an altercation at a crossing point between Jordan and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Palestinian officials said, Reuters reported.

The Israeli military said the man had tried to seize a soldier's gun at the Allenby bridge, which spans the Jordan River, and that troops had then shot him.

The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank city of Ramallah condemned what it called the "shooting at close range" by Israeli troops. It demanded an investigation, as did Jordan.

A statement from Palestinian Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah's office identified the man as Raed Alaa el-Deen Za'eiter, 38, a West Bank-born judge working in Jordan.

An Israeli military official said the army was checking reports about the man's identity.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh met an Israeli diplomat in Amman after the incident and condemned the killing,

Jordan's state news agency Petra reported. Judeh called on Israel to investigate and to inform Jordan of the result. The two countries signed a peace treaty in 1994.

Two weeks ago, Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian they were seeking to arrest in the West Bank town of Bir Zeit.

Last month, Amnesty International published a report which said Israeli forces were using excessive violence in the West Bank, killing dozens of Palestinians over the past three years in what the rights group said might constitute a war crime.

The Israeli army dismissed the criticism, saying security forces had seen a substantial increase in Palestinian violence.

Israel, which captured the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 Middle East war, operates a transit terminal for Palestinians and foreigners at the Allenby bridge, known in Jordan as the King Hussein bridge. A crossing for Israelis is further south.

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Tags: Israel, Palestine