Palestinian shot dead in clashes with Israeli forces

The incident followed days of unrest, including rioting in east Jerusalem and the West Bank as well as a spate of stabbing attacks targeting Israelis

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Israeli security forces shot dead a Palestinian during clashes in east Jerusalem Thursday on their way to the home of a man accused of an earlier stabbing attack, medics said.

The Palestinian was shot in the chest and fatally wounded at the Shuafat refugee camp in annexed east Jerusalem, according to the Red Crescent and hospital sources.

The incident followed days of unrest, including rioting in east Jerusalem and the West Bank as well as a spate of stabbing attacks targeting Israelis.

Over the last week, four Israelis and seven Palestinians have been killed in the violence.

Four of the Palestinians were killed after they allegedly attacked Israelis. Three others were killed during clashes with Israeli security forces, including a 13-year-old near Bethlehem.

The unrest and violence have sparked fears of a broader Palestinian uprising and warnings of a third intifada.

The suspect from Shuafat, Subhi Abu Khalifah, 19, was accused of stabbing a 25-year-old Jewish man in Jerusalem, leaving him in serious condition.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday Israel was facing a “wave of terror” that was mostly unorganized, pledging action against those inciting violence, but warning there was no “magic solution.”

“We are in the midst of a wave of terror of knives, firebombs, stones and live fire,” Netanyahu told reporters after days riots in east Jerusalem and the West Bank and a spate of stabbing attacks targeting Israelis.

“These actions are mostly not organized, but they are all the result of wild and untruthful incitement from Hamas, from the Palestinian Authority, from several neighboring counties and, no less, from the Islamic Movement in Israel.”

The unrest has sparked fears that a third Palestinian uprising, or intifada, could erupt.

Meanwhile, Arab Israeli lawmakers have vowed to defy Netanyahu’s decision to bar parliament members from entering a sensitive Jerusalem holy site, pledging to visit it on Friday.

Netanyahu has issued the order against lawmakers and ministers in a bid to ease tensions after weeks of unrest. Arab lawmakers’ planned visit on Friday, when many Muslims attend weekly prayers there, will test enforcement of the ban.

“Neither Netanyahu nor the right will be able to stop us from entering our Al-Aqsa mosque,” Israeli Arab MP Ahmed Tibi said on Thursday, calling the ban “senseless and illegal.”

Thirteen of Israel’s 120 MPs are Arabs.

The Al-Aqsa compound has seen repeated clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian youths in recent weeks.

Provocative visits by Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel as well as by Israeli Arab lawmakers have added to the volatility.

The Al-Aqsa compound is the third-holiest site in Islam and the most sacred for Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount.

Muslims fear Israel will seek to change rules governing the site, which allow Jews to visit but not pray to avoid provoking tensions. Netanyahu has said repeatedly he is committed to the status quo.

An increase in visits by Jews during a series of Jewish holidays in recent weeks has added to tensions.

The site is located in east Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed in a move never recognized by the international community.

(With AFP)

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