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Israeli man shot dead after being mistaken for attacker

Police said the soldiers had grown suspicious when the man, speaking in Hebrew, asked to see their IDs and proclaimed, ‘I am ISIS’

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A Jewish Israeli man was shot and killed in a scuffle with Israeli soldiers who suspected he was a Palestinian attacker, police said on Thursday, in a reflection of the jittery mood that has gripped Israelis amid a spate of near-daily stabbings.

The shooting came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Germany for talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on how to restore calm. Kerry expressed a “cautious measure of optimism” following the four-hour meeting about proposals that could help defuse tensions. Kerry is set to meet with the Palestinians this weekend.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the shooting of the Israeli man in occupied Jerusalem late on Wednesday occurred after soldiers patrolling the area asked him to show ID as he got off a bus.

The man refused, scuffled with the soldiers and then attempted to seize one of their weapons. A private security guard nearby shot the man, and one soldier also opened fire, police said. The man later died of his wounds.

Police said the soldiers had grown suspicious when the man, speaking in Hebrew, asked to see their IDs and proclaimed, “I am ISIS,” referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria group.

“The soldiers had high suspicions that he was a terrorist,” Rosenfeld said. Police later identified the man as a 28-year-old Jewish resident of Jerusalem, without providing further details.

Ten Israelis have been killed over the last month, while on the Palestinian side, 48 people have been killed, 27 of them labeled by Israel as alleged attackers, and the others killed in clashes with Israeli forces.

Violence erupted a month ago, fueled by rumors that Israel was plotting to take over a sensitive Jerusalem holy site of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Palestinians point to the growing number of Jewish visitors to the site, as well as calls from activist groups and senior politicians for expanded prayer rights. An internationally recognized status-quo dictates the Jews are allowed site visits, but not prayers.