Netanyahu sends sincere apology to Jordan for IDF killing of judge

After Jordanian judge was shot & killed when rushing IDF soldier at Allenby border crossing Monday, Jordanian parliamentarians demanded Israeli ambassador’s expulsion.

Israel announces joint investigation while anti-Israel demonstrators in Amman burn Israeli flags.

By Shlomo Cesana, Lilach Shoval, Daniel Siryoti and Danny Brener


Israel has been working to temper tensions with Jordan after a Jordanian judge was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers at the Allenby Bridge border crossing on Monday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a formal apology to Jordanian King Abdullah II on Tuesday for the death of Raed Alaa el-Deen Za’eiter.

The funeral for Jordanian judge Raed Alaa el-Deen Za’eiter on Tuesday – Photo: AFP

Israel “regrets the death of the judge and expresses its sympathies to Jordan and its commitment to the peace treaty,” said the statement, adding that Israel would share its preliminary investigation with Jordan and would establish a joint investigation with the Jordanian authorities.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh met with the deputy Israeli ambassador in Amman, Haim Asraf, also on Tuesday.

An initial IDF inquiry found that “the suspect ran toward an IDF soldier while screaming ‘Allahu akbar,’ and tried to seize his weapon.

“The soldiers felt a real threat to their lives and acted according to protocol, firing at the lower part of his body. A hit in the legs was identified. The suspect continued to run at the soldier with an iron pole and he was shot and then subdued,” the statement said.

Za’eiter’s funeral was held in Nablus on Tuesday. His family members deplored Israel’s handling of the incident.

“These are ridiculous excuses. The Israeli soldier should stand trial,” they said.

Jordanian parliament members called on Jordan to immediately expel the Israeli ambassador. Several Jordanians gathered outside of parliament and burned Israeli flags. The Jordanian parliamentary speaker said he would summon the Israeli authorities in Jordan to launch a joint investigation.

Hiba Za’eiter, the widow of the killed judge, said she asked the authorities to make her family a party to the investigation. She said she intends to file a massive lawsuit against the Defense Ministry. The judge’s family hired attorney Murad Mafraa from the law offices of attorney Aryeh Licht in Afula to represent them in Israeli legal proceedings.

“We’re talking about a judge, a respected man, 37-years-old and father to two children, who was shot dead for no reason,” said Mafraa.


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