Damascus Gate, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, in October 2015. (MaanImages/ Emily Mulder, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian woman in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday afternoon after she allegedly attempted to carry out a stabbing attack, Israeli police said.
Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri initially said in a statement that the woman attempted to stab police officers with a pair of scissors at the Old City's Damascus Gate, only to be "neutralized" by the Israeli forces -- a term commonly used by Israeli officials to indicate that an alleged attacker has either been wounded or killed.
Moments later, the spokeswoman confirmed that the Palestinian woman had been killed. Al-Samri added that no Israeli officers had been injured in the altercation.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the slain Palestinian woman as 49-year-old Siham Ratib Nimr, from East Jerusalem. Al-Samri said that Nimr was from the northern East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras Khamis, which is cut off from the rest of the city by Israel's illegal separation wall.
Witness told Ma'an that the Nimr was walking with her daughter in the entrance to Damascus Gate, and that an altercation occurred once they came close to Israeli police officers.
The witnesses said that an Israeli border police officer shot Nimr at point-blank range in the chest and lower extremities, and that Israeli police forcibly prevented an Israeli paramedic from approaching the woman, “leaving her to bleed to death.”
The eyewitnesses added that Israeli forces then completely sealed off the area, preventing Palestinians from using the entrance to the Old City.
Israeli forces reportedly also assaulted young Palestinian men who were in the area.
According to local organization the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, Nimr was the mother of Mustafa Nimr
, a 27-year-old Palestinian who was killed by Israeli forces in September during a night raid in the Jerusalem-area Shufaat refugee camp.
According to Ma'an documentation, Nimr is the first woman to have been killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of the year.
A total of 16 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis -- 15 of them at the hands of Israeli armed forces -- so far in 2017.
Though Israeli forces have claimed that Palestinians were allegedly attempting to carry out stabbing attacks when they were killed in six of these cases, Palestinians and rights groups have disputed Israel's version of events in a number of cases.