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3 Palestinians shot dead after Israeli officer fatally stabbed in Jerusalem

June 16, 2017 8:06 P.M. (Updated: June 19, 2017 7:12 P.M.)
Damascus Gate (MaanImages/Emily Mulder, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli police reported on Friday evening that an attack took place on Sultan Suleiman street outside the Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, saying that one Israeli police officer was critically injured and later succumbed to her wounds, while the three attackers -- who police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld referred to as "Arab terrorists" -- were shot dead. 

All three Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli police at the scene. Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said that the Israeli police officer, a 23-year old woman named Hadas Malka, succumbed to her wounds after being stabbed by one of the attackers, while a number of others were injured in the attack.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the slain Palestinians as Adel Hassan Ahmad Ankoush,18, Baraa Ibrahim Saleh Taha, 18, and Usama Ahmad Dahdouh, 19, all from the central occupied West Bank village of Deir Abu Mashaal. 

Israeli news daily Haaretz reported that the attack was carried out at two scenes near Damascus Gate; two of the Palestinians were shot and killed after reportedly assaulting Israeli police officers with knives and guns, while the third attacker was shot dead after fatally stabbing the border policewoman as she attempted to reach for her gun.

A second Israeli officer was reportedly lightly wounded in the attack, and evacuated to Israel's Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem, where Malka was also evacuated and eventually succumbed to her wounds. 

Two Palestinian bystanders, including a 30-year-old from the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, were also hospitalized for light to moderate injuries sustained by being caught in the shoot-out, according to Israeli police, though it remained unclear if they came under fire from Israeli forces or from one of three assailants. 

Witnesses later told Ma'an that several Palestinians were injured by shrapnel from bullets shot by Israeli forces, who shot “haphazardly” in every direction during the attack.

Rosenfeld, the Israeli police spokesperson, reported that following the attack, police units implemented heightened security measures in the area -- which had already seen an increased police presence earlier in the day for the third Friday of the holy month of Ramadan, as thousands of Palestinians from across Israel and the occupied West Bank traveled to Jerusalem to perform prayers at Al-Aqsa mosque.

Rights groups have accused Israel of implementing a "shoot to kill" policy against Palestinians who could have been detained with nonlethal means.

According to Ma'an documentation, 33 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers since the start of 2017, while eight Israelis have been killed by Palestinians during the same time period. 
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