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Palestinian-Jordanian shot dead at border crossing

A Palestinian-Jordanian man has been killed by Israeli soldiers as he crossed from Jordan into the West Bank.

An Israeli Airports Authority spokesman told the BBC that the man was shot after he attempted to grab a soldier’s rifle at the Allenby crossing.

He was identified as Raed Zaytar, 38, from Nablus in the West Bank. Jordanian officials said he had been working as a judge in the capital, Amman.

The Allenby crossing was closed for several hours after the incident.

Palestinian officials told the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency that Mr Zaytar had left the West Bank in 2011 and not returned until Monday.

An official at the Jordanian justice ministry said he was a Jordanian citizen and had been working as a judge at a magistrate’s court.

“We did not know that Raed was in the West Bank. I went to the court to check if he was working and I was told that he did not go to work today,” his 70-year-old father, Alaa, himself a former judge, told AFP by telephone. “My son was peaceful and professional.”

He said he did not know what his son’s business was in the West Bank.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the incident was being investigated, but that it appeared to have “nationalistic motives”.

The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported that Mr Zaytar ran towards Israeli soldiers carrying out security checks shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great”) before trying to grab one of their weapons.

The soldiers started an arrest procedure according to their rules of engagement, which included shooting at Mr Zaytar’s legs, at which point he attempted to choke one of them and was shot to death, it added.

In a separate development on Monday, an Israeli court sentenced an Israeli-Arab man to 25 years in prison for a bomb attack on a bus in Tel Aviv that wounded 26 people.

Mohammed Mafarja, 19, pleaded guilty to charges included attempted murder in connection with the attack in November 2012, at the end of an eight-day conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza.

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