Last updated: 11 March, 2014

Israel completely responsible for killing judge, says Jordan Prime Minister

Jordan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur said Tuesday that the Israeli government was “completely” responsible for the “hideous” shooting of a Palestinian-Jordanian judge at a border crossing.

The shooting of Raed Zeiter, a 38-year-old judge who Israel said had attacked its soldiers and tried to steal one of their weapons, has set off a diplomatic row between Israel and Jordan, which signed a peace treaty two decades ago.

“The Jordanian government holds the Israeli government completely responsible for the hideous crime,” Nsur told MPs at a meeting in parliament to discuss the shooting that took place on Monday.

He insisted”the Israeli government’s excuses do not justify that treacherous act.”

The Israeli military said its preliminary findings that Zeiter had attacked the soldiers were based on extensive questioning of witnesses and that the investigation, which is being handled by the military police, was ongoing.

Nsur said Israel accepted a Jordanian request to take part in the probe.

“Jordan has pressured Israel to formally apologise. Jordan is now part of the probe into the shooting,” he said.

“The way Jordan will deal with the development of this issue depends on how Israel acts on it in line with the final results of the investigation.”

Israel expressed regret over the shooting, but stopped short of apologising.

“Israel regrets the death of Judge Raed Zeiter yesterday at the King Hussein (Allenby) bridge and expresses its sympathies to the people and government of Jordan,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said.

Jordan demanded the soldiers involved be punished.

“We will not spare any efforts to expose Israeli lies. We will not remain silent about this ugly crime,” said Parliament speaker Atef Tarawneh.

“Jordan’s credibility and balanced position does not mean that Israel continues its violations. Jordanians are patient but their anger will go beyond pain and sorrow.”

Jordan and Egypt are the only two Arab countries to have signed a peace treaty with Israel.