HEBRON (Ma'an) -- A 23-year-old Palestinian was shot dead by an Israeli border policeman near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron after an alleged attack on an Israeli soldier on Thursday.
An eyewitness told Ma'an that he saw an Israeli soldier shoot at the Palestinian, hitting him in the shoulder.
“Then the Israeli soldier approached him and shot him in the head and dropped a knife near his body,” the eyewitnesses added.
Another eyewitness said he saw the Palestinian running when Israeli soldiers shot him. "The boy fell to the ground before the soldiers took off his clothes and wrapped him in a black sack."
Ma'an could not verify claims that a knife was planted at the scene.
The Palestinian was identified as Mahdi Muhammad al-Muhtaseb.
The Israeli army said that a Palestinian attacked and stabbed a soldier near the Tomb of the Patriarchs when “forces responded and shot the attacker.”
Israeli media reported that after lightly wounding a soldier with a cut to the face, the suspect tried to attack a border policeman who shot and killed him.
Nearby schools were evacuated following the attack as clashes broke out in the area.
Eyewitnesses initially identified the suspect as a teenager but the Palestinian Ministry of Health later reported the man’s age as 23.
He is one of well over ten Palestinians to be killed in the Hebron district this month, five of whom were children.
The majority were shot dead in Hebron city, in most cases after Israeli forces alleged they attempted to carry out stabbing attacks on Israelis.
Forces shot and killed 23-year-old Islam Rafiq Hammad Ibeido on Wednesday after saying he attempted to carry out a stabbing attack near the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba.
The day before, Hammam Said, 23, reportedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint in Tel Rumeida and was shot dead by Israeli forces.
Eyewitnesses to both cases told Ma’an they saw Israeli soldiers placing knives next to the suspects’ bodies following the alleged attacks.
Several attacks have taken place near the Ibrahimi Mosque this month, known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs.
Saad Muhammad Youssef al-Atrash, 19, was shot dead near the holy site on Monday after he allegedly attempted to stab a soldier.
While violence increased this month across the occupied Palestinian territory, Hebron has been a flash-point between Palestinian locals and Israeli settlers and military forces, with levels of attacks second only to those in Jerusalem.
Today over 500 settlers -- protected by thousands of Israeli forces -- live in around 80 homes in the heart of Hebron's Old City, many of whom have illegally occupied Palestinian homes and continue to remove the area's inhabitants.
As the Palestinian death toll in Hebron and occupied Palestinian territory rises, international rights group Amnesty International criticized Wednesday "unlawful" killings of Palestinians who did not pose sufficient threat to Israeli forces at the time of their death to make the use of deliberate lethal force permissible.