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Palestinian woman killed after alleged stab attempt in Jerusalem's Old City

March 8, 2016 11:15 A.M. (Updated: March 9, 2016 9:31 A.M.)
Israeli officers stationed on Via Dolorosa, a street in Jerusalem's Old City which branches off from al-Wad Street. (MaanImages/Emily Mulder, File)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian woman on Tuesday after she allegedly attempted to stab Israeli officers stationed in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem.

A witness identified the woman as 50-year-old Fadwa Ahmad Abu Teir, a mother of three from the East Jerusalem Um Tuba neighborhood.

The witness told Ma’an that Israeli officers shot her several times from in al-Wad street, where "she was left bleeding" as the officers prevented locals and paramedics from accessing her.

Another witness said they saw Israeli forces shoot her from point blank range.

Police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said an “Arab Jerusalemite woman” pulled out a knife and approached border officers who opened fire after perceiving a “tangible threat.”

Officers opened fire and “immediately neutralized” the woman, al-Samri said, later confirming her death.

No Israeli injuries were reported.

Amin Abu Ghazala, a doctor at the Palestinian Red Crescent clinic in the Old City told Ma'an that Israeli forces "wasted critical time during which the woman could have been rescued."

Abu Ghazala believed the ten minutes during which Red Crescent paramedics were prevented by Israeli forces from accessing Abu Teir could have been enough time to save her life.

Abu Ghazala said the woman received a gunshot to the eye and two shots to the abdomen.

Large numbers of Israeli soldiers and police officers deployed in the Old City following the incident, and all gates leading to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound were closed, witnesses added.

The Old City has been the site of a number small-scale attacks carried out by Palestinian individuals, that initially increased in October before spreading to the occupied West Bank.

Tensions increased in the Old City area at the time in part following increased visitation to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound by right-wing Israeli groups calling for the mosque’s destruction.

Al-Wad street, where Abu Teir was killed, leads from Damascus Gate through the Muslim Quarter, with several paths leading from it to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound before ending at the Western Wall plaza, a holy site to Jews.

The street -- also known as HaGai Street -- is heavily guarded by Israeli forces with whom Palestinian residents and those passing through the area face routine encounters.

Abu Teir is one of over 180 Palestinians to be killed since unrest increased in October, the majority of whom were shot during actual or attempted attacks on Israeli military targets. Nearly 30 Israelis have been killed during the same time period.

The circumstances of a number of Palestinian deaths have been disputed, with investigations by rights groups reporting several Palestinians who were fatally shot but did not pose sufficient threat at the time of their death for the use of lethal violence.

Al-Wad street following the incident. (Photo credit: Israeli police spokesperson)

The knife allegedly used during the incident. (Photo credit: Israeli police spokesperson)
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