JERUSALEM — Israeli police shot and killed a person who they alleged tried to grab an officer’s gun at an entrance to a Jerusalem holy web site early Saturday, elevating fears of additional violence throughout a time of heightened tensions on the flashpoint compound.
Later Saturday, the Israeli navy mentioned a Palestinian driver rammed his automobile into a gaggle of Israelis within the occupied West Financial institution. Israeli medics mentioned three individuals had been wounded, two critically, and the alleged attacker was shot lifeless.
In Jerusalem’s police taking pictures, Palestinian worshippers on the entrance to the positioning on Saturday morning had a distinct account, saying that police shot the person at the least 10 occasions after he tried to forestall them from harassing a lady who was on her solution to the holy compound, house to Al-Aqsa Mosque within the coronary heart of Jerusalem’s Outdated Metropolis — the third holiest shrine in Islam. The compound, revered by Jews because the Temple Mount, can also be essentially the most sacred web site in Judaism.
The police mentioned the slain man was 26-year-old Mohammed Alasibi from Hura, a Bedouin Arab village in southern Israel. The village council referred to as for an intensive investigation of his killing and a normal strike Saturday in protest.
Hours after the incident, the muddy stone alleyway resulting in Al-Aqsa Mosque was nonetheless stained with blood. Alasibi’s household mentioned he was a doctor who had lately handed his exams and earned his M.D. in Romania. He returned to his hometown a month in the past, his cousin mentioned, and was caring for his sick father as he labored to get licensed in Israel.
“He’s a well mannered, form man from a household of medical doctors who was going to Al-Aqsa for non secular causes,” his cousin Fahad Alasibi mentioned. “If you would like us to consider that he tried to assault police, then present us the safety footage.”
A police spokesperson pushed again on Palestinian accounts, insisting there was no lady strolling to the compound at midnight as a result of the complicated was closed to guests underneath an settlement with an Islamic belief referred to as the Waqf managed by Jordan.
Nonetheless, a number of dozen individuals have been attempting to sleep on the mosque in a single day through the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, prompting Israeli police to intervene and attempt to evict the worshippers.
The police spokesperson mentioned Alasibi first aroused suspicion strolling towards the shuttered compound. After being stopped for questioning, the spokesperson mentioned Alasibi jumped on one of many officers and grabbed his gun, managing to fireplace two bullets towards policemen because the officer struggled to restrain him. Police described the incident as an tried terrorist assault and mentioned they shot and killed him in self-defense. No officers had been injured. The spokesperson mentioned there was no digital camera on the internal wall of the compound that would have captured the incident.
Palestinian worshippers on the compound Saturday disagreed. Noureddine, a 17-year-old who lived within the neighborhood and declined to offer his final title for concern of reprisals, mentioned he noticed Alasibi confront police who had stopped a feminine worshipper on her solution to Al-Aqsa Mosque. Alasibi’s relationship to the girl was not clear. He mentioned some type of disagreement broke out between Alasibi and the officers earlier than he heard a dozen photographs ring out.
“Nothing may justify that many photographs,” he mentioned, pointing to chaotic footage he filmed that confirmed Palestinian distributors and worshippers screaming on the sound of bullets being fired in fast succession. “They had been fired at shut vary.”
His cousin Fahad mentioned Alasibi was fearful about making the journey from Israel’s Negev desert to Al-Aqsa as a result of his ailing father relied on him. “However he went as a result of praying there throughout Ramadan means lots to him,” he mentioned.
The town’s contested compound has been a spotlight for clashes prior to now, significantly in occasions of turmoil in Israel and the West Financial institution. This 12 months, as violence surges within the occupied territory underneath essentially the most right-wing authorities in Israeli historical past, fears of an escalation in Jerusalem have mounted with the beginning of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Israeli police have boosted their forces as tens of hundreds of Muslim worshippers flock to Al-Aqsa Mosque for prayers.
On Friday, greater than 200,000 Palestinians gathered on the compound for midday prayers, which handed peacefully.
Noureddine mentioned police pressured Palestinian distributors and worshippers out of the realm after the incident, beating him and others with batons. Israeli police briefly closed the positioning earlier than reopening it for daybreak prayers.
Confrontations on the hilltop compound have triggered wider violence within the area prior to now. Clashes on the web site in Might 2021 helped gas the outbreak of a bloody 11-day battle between Israel and Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers.
This 12 months’s convergence of Ramadan with the Jewish vacation of Passover may enhance the potential of friction because the Outdated Metropolis hosts an enormous inflow of pilgrims.
For the previous 12 months, Israeli-Palestinian preventing has surged within the occupied West Financial institution. At the very least 86 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli or settler gunfire this 12 months, in keeping with an Related Press tally. Palestinian assaults in opposition to Israelis have killed 15 individuals in the identical interval. Israel says most of these killed have been militants. However stone-throwing youths protesting police incursions and folks not concerned within the confrontations have additionally been killed.