A 16-year-old Palestinian teenager was killed by Israeli gunfire near Bethlehem as he attempted to cross the Israeli barrier to attend the last Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on 31 May.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the teenager, Abdallah Ghaith from the West Bank city of Hebron, was killed with a bullet in his chest that had penetrated his heart.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Agence France-Presse that Israeli forces had “fired at a Palestinian trying to pass over the security fence in the Bethlehem region,” without further details.
Another Palestinian, 21-year-old Mo’men Abu Tabish, also sustained critical injuries and is being treated at the Beit Jala Hospital in Bethlehem.
That same Friday, in the Old City of Jerusalem, two Israelis were wounded – one seriously – in a knife attack. A 19-year-old Palestinian suspect was shot dead by security forces.
Israeli police spokesperson Mickey Rosenfeld told Al Jazeera; “Police units that responded at the scene saw the attacker with a knife. The attacker was shot and killed by police units.
The Israeli police have not yet released the identity of the Palestinian.
The Jerusalem Post identified the Israeli victims as a 16-year-old, who was stabbed near the Jaffa Gate, remains in moderate-to-serious condition and 47-year-old, stabbed near the eastern Damascus Gate, remains in stable but critical condition.
These events occur as tens of thousands of Palestinians are expected in the Old City of East Jerusalem – located in the Palestinian part of the city annexed by Israel – for the last Friday prayer of the month of Ramadan, sacred to Muslims. This event is the cause of tension every year.
It also comes two days before a major march of Israelis on Jerusalem Day, which marks for them the “reunification” of the city after the capture of its eastern part during the 1967 ‘Six Day War’.
Israeli forces control all access to the esplanade of the Mosques, the third holy place of Islam, also revered by the Jews as the Temple Mount. Muslims have access to it at all times. Jews can visit it at certain times but are forbidden to pray there.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians, also from the neighbouring West Bank, occupied by Israel since 1967, came to pray on Friday during the current month of Ramadan.
Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of the state to which they aspire. Israel proclaims all Jerusalem, including East Jerusalem, its “reunited” and “indivisible” capital, and excludes any partition of the city.
Source: Palestine Monitor