JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli guards shot and killed a Jordanian judge on Monday who the Israelis said tried to grab a rifle from a soldier at the border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan.
The shooting took place at the Allenby crossing as the man was going from Jordan into the West Bank, the Israeli army said.
The man was initially identified as a Palestinian but a Jordanian judicial official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, later confirmed that he was a judge working in Amman since 2009. The man killed was identified as magistrate Raed Zueter.
“The terrorist ran toward soldiers yelling ‘Allahu akbar’ attempting to seize their weapons,” the Israeli military said. “The soldiers felt an immediate threat to their lives and fired toward his lower extremities. The suspect then began to strangle a soldier and the force resorted to firing again.”
Shootings at the Allenby crossing on the West Bank-Jordan border are rare. Israel and Jordan signed a peace agreement 20 years ago and have close security ties.
The border terminal is operated jointly by Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. It is the main border crossing for Palestinians from the West Bank traveling to neighboring Jordan and beyond, and it is a crossing point for goods between Israel, the West Bank and Jordan.
Foreign diplomats and tourists also travel through the border crossing. Israelis are not permitted to use it.
A spokeswoman for the Jordanian Foreign Ministry, Sabah al-Rafei, said authorities were trying to get more details on the incident from the Israeli side.
The judge’s father, Alaa Zueter, told The Associated Press that he had gone to court to see his son today but didn’t find him at work and only later heard on the media what had happened.
“I didn’t know my son went to the West Bank today,” said the man, crying over the telephone. He said he didn’t know what his son’s business was in the Palestinian territory.
About half of Jordan’s population is Palestinian, and many Palestinians in the West Bank hold Jordanian citizenship. The Palestinians seek the West Bank, captured by Israel from Jordan in 1967, as part of a future independent state.
In the West Bank, the Palestinian self-rule government condemned the killing of the judge. It called for an independent investigation, saying: “this killing is one of a series violation of human rights in Palestine.”
A protest was expected later Monday outside the Israeli Embassy in Amman.