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Israeli forces shoot dead Palestinian at Allenby Bridge crossing

March 10, 2014 10:00 A.M. (Updated: March 12, 2014 10:06 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man at the Allenby Bridge crossing with Jordan on Monday, Israel's army and witnesses said.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said "a Palestinian attempted to the seize the weapon of an Israeli soldier at the Allenby Bridge crossing with Jordan. Israeli soldiers opened fire and a hit was identified."

Army commander Yaron Beit On, speaking in a conference call with reporters later in the day, said that as the man attempted to snatch an Israeli soldier's gun, another soldier shot him in the leg.

The man then managed to grab a metal bar from one of the Israeli troops, Beit On said. When he tried to use it as a weapon, a soldier shot and killed him.

He said that the incident occurred at around 9:30 a.m., and that the man was carrying two suitcases with him.

The victim was identified as Raed Alaa Addin Zieter, 38, from Nablus.

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 magistrates 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 the establishment of a "international investigative committee to probe this incident."

AFP contributed to this report
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