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Palestinian detained at Shufat checkpoint for alleged stabbing attempt

May 3, 2017 2:10 P.M. (Updated: May 3, 2017 5:12 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained a 21-year-old Palestinian at a military checkpoint outside of Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem midday Wednesday, with Israeli police claiming the young man attempted to carry out a knife attack on Israeli soldiers stationed there.

Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said that the man approached the checkpoint coming from Shufat refugee camp, and after Israeli forces manning the checkpoint instructed him show identification, "he took out a knife instead." Israeli soldiers immediately detained the young man, who allegedly dropped the knife he was holding, and no one was injured, according to al-Samri.

She said the 21-year-old was a resident of Shufat refugee camp, which is located within Israel's municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, but is encircled on three sides by Israel’s separation wall, forcing residents to pass through a congested military checkpoint to access the rest of Jerusalem where most claim residency status.

Spokesperson for the Fatah movement in Shufat refugee camp identified the detainee as Wissam al-Dibs.

A day prior, Israeli forces shot dead a 19-year-old Israeli settler, mistaking him for Palestinian, after the young man allegedly attempted to carry out a knife attack on Israeli soldiers at Israel's Hizma checkpoint north of Jerusalem.

Israeli police initially claimed that a Palestinian was shot after he attempted to stab soldiers, but later revealed that the slain man was in fact a 19-year-old Jewish Israeli from the illegal Pisgat Zeev settlement in occupied East Jerusalem.

The shooting represented an rare case of Israeli forces taking lethal action on an Israeli, since Israel has become the target of international condemnation for implementing a "shoot-to-kill" policy on Palestinians who allegedly or actually carry out attacks, while simultaneously fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israeli settlers and soldiers committing violent acts against Palestinians.

Eyewitnesses have also said in a number of cases that Israeli security forces planted knives on slain Palestinians to claim that they were acting in self-defense during an alleged stabbing attack

Official Palestinian news agency Wafa quoted Palestinian government spokesman Yusef al-Mahmoud as saying that the Hizma checkpoint shooting was “a clear indication of the falsehood of the Israeli narrative” regarding alleged attacks.

He said that “when we call for international protection for our people, we do that because we live under the injustice of the Israeli occupation, and today’s incident of the killing of an Israeli settler because they believed he was Palestinian was clear proof of that.”

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