Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has apologized to Jordan for killing a Jordanian judge who the IDF said attacked and tried to strangle a soldier before he was shot dead at the Allenby Bridge border crossing on Monday.
“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,” according a statement from the office of the Prime Minister.
“In light of our commitment to the peace treaty, Israel has already shared with Jordan the results of its preliminary investigation of the incident,” it continued. “Israel has also agreed to a Jordanian request to establish a joint Israeli-Jordanian team to complete the investigation.”
The IDF stated Monday morning that its “preliminary conclusions regarding the Allenby Bridge incident” followed “a comprehensive investigation” and that “the investigation included extensive questioning of witnesses by security personnel.”
“The preliminary conclusion of the investigation indicates that the terrorist attacked the soldier,” IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Pete Lerner said. The attacker “charged at the soldiers shouting ‘Allah Akbar’ [Allah is great] with a metal pole, and then attempted to seize the soldier’s weapon prompting the soldiers to respond by firing towards his lower extremities, in line with standard operating procedures. The suspect then began to strangle a soldier and the force resorted to using live fire once again.”
The attacker later was named as a judge from Jordan who originally is from Shechem, and that is when the proverbial manure apparently hit the fan.
Gertrude Rose might have written today that “a terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist” but not if he is a judge.
Jordan claims that the judge was unarmed, and the Jordanian Muslim opposition castigated Israel’s “brutality” in killing the alleged attacker.
If the IDF’s initial probe reached the wrong conclusion and the soldiers wrongful fired, the whole incident will be very bad for Israel.
If it is true, and so far the IDF has not amended its preliminary conclusions, that does not change the fact that Prime Minister Netanyahu needs Jordan more than ever right now. The last thing King Abdullah needs is a Palestinian Authority state on his borders. Jordan is country of refugees, mostly “Palestinian” and an increasing number from Syria.
Israel protects Jordan’s eastern border, which would become Swiss cheese if the Palestinian Authority were to be stationed there.
That explains the Prime Minister’s hurried apology and agreement set up a joint commission to investigate the incident.