Israeli police say officers shot and killed a man who allegedly tried to seize an officer’s weapons at a flashpoint Jerusalem site
JERUSALEM — Israeli police shot and killed a man who allegedly tried to steal an officer’s weapons at a flashpoint Jerusalem site late Friday, police said.
The police said the slain man was 26 years old and from an Arab village in southern Israel.
Authorities said the incident in Jerusalem’s Old City happened when officers stopped the man for questioning outside Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which is the third holiest shrine in Islam.
Footage shared widely on social media showed Israeli police deploying heavily in the alleys and gates leading to the compound after the shooting. Scuffles broke out between police and Palestinian vendors and worshipers who spend the night praying at the mosque during the holy month of Ramadan.
More than 200,000 Palestinians had gathered earlier for Friday’s noon prayers at the compound and the ceremony ended without the usual frictions with Israeli police.
The hilltop compound is revered also by Jews as the Temple Mount, and incidents in previous years have spilled into clashes in the West Bank and fighting between Israel and Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers.
Since last spring, violence between Israel and the Palestinians has been high. Eighty-six Palestinians have been killed by Israeli or settler gunfire this year, according to an Associated Press tally. Palestinian attacks have killed 15 Israelis in the same period.
Israel says most of those killed have been militants. But stone-throwing youths protesting police incursions and people not involved in the confrontations have also been killed.
Israel captured the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians seek those territories for their future independent state.