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Palestinian shot, killed after reported stab attempt in Jerusalem

Dec. 26, 2015 10:45 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 27, 2015 11:05 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- A Palestinian from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan was killed Saturday after reportedly attempting to stab an Israeli police officer in Jerusalem, Israeli police said.

Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said in a statement that a 26-year-old Palestinian man pulled a knife on the officer in Allenby Square, located around a mile west from Jerusalem’s Old City.

The Palestinian was reportedly sitting in a park by the New Gate in the Old City when he followed a Jewish couple towards Allenby Square, al-Samri said. The man’s movement “aroused suspicion” from Israeli police officers who approached him, mounted on horses.

A “hand fight” then broke out between the Palestinian and an officer who asked him for identification before the man pulled a knife on the officer, the spokesperson said. The Palestinian fell to the ground after officers opened fire, and was shot dead after getting up a second time, al-Samri added.

An eyewitness told Ma’an that the man had been sitting on a bench when mounted Israeli officers arrived, asked him to stand, and opened fire when he raised his hands in the air.

According to the witness, the man had fallen to the ground before the officers fired “several rounds at his chest killing him immediately.”

Locals identified the Palestinian as Musab Mahmoud al-Ghazali from the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.

The incident follows a string of deadly days the occupied Palestinian territories, with nine Palestinians and two Israelis killed since Wednesday.

Two Palestinians were shot dead after stabbing and killing one Israeli and wounding another outside of the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on Wednesday. A third Israeli was killed when Israeli border guards opened fire on the attackers.

In the occupied West Bank on Thursday, three attacks were carried out on Israeli military and security personnel, injuring three. All three Palestinians were killed during the attacks.

A fourth Palestinian was also killed when clashes erupted in the Qalandiya refugee camp after Israeli forces entered to arrest residents suspected of involvement in the days’ attacks.

Twenty-two-year-old Hani Rafiq Wahdan was shot in the head and killed during weekly Friday demonstrations in the Gaza Strip, shortly before Mahdia Hammad was shot after Israeli officers said she attempted to run her vehicle into a group of soldiers in Silwad, near Ramallah.

Violence that increased in October has continued full force through December, despite a visit by UN officials and the Middle East Quartet to the area last week.

The international bodies failed to make any concrete moves towards quelling the violence that has left over 130 Palestinians and 20 Israelis dead since Oct. 1.

The majority of Palestinians have been killed while carrying out or attempting to carry attacks on Israeli military civilians. Investigations into the circumstances of several deaths by rights groups have concluded that Israeli forces killed a number of Palestinians who didn't pose any threat at the time of their death.

While the majority of recent attacks have been carried out without the organization of political factions, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has not publicly condemned the recent attacks or upsurge in demonstrations.

Israeli authorities meanwhile have launched an ongoing crackdown in response to the escalation, promoting a “shoot-to-kill” policy against Palestinians as well as a series of harsh measures throughout the occupied territory that rights groups have termed collective punishment.
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