By Aryeh Savir
Tazpit News Agency
JERUSALEM – “The terrorist attacked IDF forces with a pole, tried to steal a soldier’s weapon, and then attempted to strangle another soldier at the scene,” – this is how the IDF described yesterday’s incident (Feb. 10) in which Raed A-Zayater, 37, was shot by IDF soldiers after attacking them. A-Zayater, a Palestinian, served as a magistrate in Jordan.
A preliminary IDF investigation concluded that A-Zayater, whom the IDF has categorized as a terrorist, attacked Israeli soldiers at the Allenby Bridge crossing on Israel’s border with Jordan as he was crossing into Israel, reportedly on his way to visit his family in Schemen. A-Zayater charged at the forces with a metal pole while shouting “Allah Akbar,” and then attempted to seize one soldier’s weapon. Soldiers responded to the attack in accordance with standard procedures, firing at A-Zayater’s lower extremities. A-Zayater’s then began to strangle a soldier, and the forces resorted to using live fire, resulting in his death. He was buried today in Shechem.
Although the IDF’s investigation is ongoing, its preliminary findings were extensive and included interviews with tens of witnesses at the scene.
A-Zayater’s death has spawned a sharp response from the Jordanian Government, which summoned Israeli ambassador to Jordan and demanded an explanation to the incident and that an investigation of the incident be launched immediately. Tens of Jordanians protested in front of Israel’s embassy last night, demanding the removal of the embassy and the annulment of the peace agreement with Israel.
Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu issued a statement today sending his condolences to the Jordanian government and people, announcing an Israeli-Jordanian panel would further investigate this incident, which has generated much tension between the two governments.