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Israeli police withdraw claim Palestinian planned stabbing attack

May 5, 2015 6:37 P.M. (Updated: May 6, 2015 9:26 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli police have withdrawn allegations that Hatem Salah, who was shot in the foot by an Israeli security guard on Monday, was attempting a stabbing attack as he had no sharp objects in his possession at the time, a prisoners' rights group told Ma'an.

Israeli police reportedly made the admission during a session in Jerusalem's Magistrate Court on Tuesday, turning on their head earlier allegations that the Palestinian had attempted to stab passers-by at a light rail station near the French Hill settlement.

A security guard told police on Monday that the Palestinian had "attacked him from behind" before running toward people waiting at the station.

He claimed that guards responded by firing warning shots into the air, before shooting the man in his lower legs.

Lawyer for prisoners' rights group Addameer Muhammad Mahmoud told Ma'an that police confirmed Tuesday that Salah, 35, had not had any sharp objects in his possession when he was shot, but had been carrying his trousers' belt.

Mahmoud alleged that the shooting had taken place entirely without reason.

However, he noted that early investigations showed that Salah had been assaulted by two Israeli guards in the same area on Sunday night, the day before he was shot.

Salah, who is from Shuafat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem, has denied allegations he intended to carry out a stabbing attack.

Mahmoud said that the judge had extended Salah's detention until Thursday to continue investigating whether he had attempted to assault guards but not planned a stabbing attack.

Salah will also be transferred to psychotherapy, Mahmoud said.

An Israeli police spokesman told Ma'an he had no information about Tuesday's court session.

Monday's incident came following a number of attacks on Israeli military and civilians that in the last month left several lightly and moderately injured.

During the same period, Israeli forces killed seven Palestinians and wounded 173 throughout occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, according to the PLO International Relations Department.
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