Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour and a number of his senior cabinet ministers paid a condolence call in Amman on Saturday to the family of Judge Raed Zueter, the Jordanian judge of Palestinian descent who was shot to death by Israeli soldiers at the Allenby Bridge border crossing last Monday.
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A relative of Zueter’s who was at the family’s mourning tent spoke to Haaretz by phone from the Jordanian capital. He said Ensour promised to follow the joint Israeli-Jordanian investigation of the incident until the team submits a full report, after which he would decide what steps to take.
The family member said that a number of witnesses on the bus with Zueter at the crossing at the time of the shooting came to a second mourners’ tent, erected in the West Bank city of Nablus. He said they all said Zueter did not attempt to steal a soldier’s gun or to intentionally attack any Israeli soldiers, as the Israel Defense Forces had claimed.
“Everyone who was there said it all began with an argument between the deceased and one of the soldiers that flared up within seconds and ended with three bullets shot at him," he said. "From our perspective, there’s no doubt that he was murdered for no reason and that the soldiers were much too quick on the trigger because it was an Arab or a Palestinian. We will wait for the results of the investigation, but we aren’t expecting much because, in any event, it’s impossible to get anything from Israel,” the man added.
The IDF, meanwhile, has appointed Brig. Gen. Motti Baruch, the commander of the 162nd Armored Division (also known as the Steel Formation), to gather the evidence for the investigation, in coordination with the Shin Bet security service, the Israel Police and the Israel Airports Authority. The materials will be used by the joint investigation team.
In 2011, the IDF changed the protocol for investigating the deaths of Palestinians in the West Bank. The Military Police investigates each case that does not involve “actual warfare activities,” as defined by the IDF.
In this particular case, the Israel Police recorded witness statements and the Military Police was responsible for documenting the scene of the shooting. The IDF Spokesman’s Office confirmed these facts.