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Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem stabbing wounds 2 Israeli officers

Feb. 19, 2016 10:11 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 20, 2016 10:30 A.M.)
(MaanImages/Anna Kokko, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian was shot dead after stabbing and wounding two Israeli border police officers outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City on Friday morning, Israeli police said.

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said the border police officers opened fire on the 20-year-old Palestinian after he drew a knife on them.

Rosenfeld said the Palestinian was killed, while both officers were lightly wounded and evacuated to hospital.

Members of Al-Jazeera's TV crew present at the scene told Ma'an that six Israeli officers on site surrounded the Palestinian and "fired almost 50 bullets" after he had already been shot twice and fallen to the ground.

Israeli media sites published a photograph purportedly showing the Palestinian's ID, which identified him as 20-year-old Muhammad Abu Khalaf from the town of Kafr Aqab in northern East Jerusalem.

Rosenfeld said the area was closed off and there was "heightened security in the area."

Damascus Gate has been the site of a number of deadly encounters between Palestinians and Israelis since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory in October last year.

On Sunday this week, two Palestinians armed with guns were shot dead at the landmark site after attempting to launch an attack on border police.

Two days later, a Palestinian from Jenin was detained at the gate to the Old City on suspicion of planning an attack after a knife was found under his sleeve.

More than 170 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers since October. Israel says the majority were shot dead while attempting to carry out attacks, although international rights groups have disputed Israel's version of events in several cases.

The attacks that have taken place -- mostly by Palestinian individuals armed only with knives -- have killed nearly 30 Israelis.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said last month it was "human nature" for Palestinians to react violently to Israel's nearly 50-year military occupation, as he urged a change in Israeli policy in the occupied Palestinian territory.
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