Sunday, May 22

Knife attack in central Jerusalem, assailant shot dead

Israeli policemen gathered near the Damascus Gate in East Jerusalem where a Palestinian was killed after stabbing an Israeli on December 4, 2021 AHMAD GHARABLI

A Palestinian carried out a knife attack on Saturday, injuring at least one person in central Jerusalem, before being shot dead by law enforcement, rescue workers and Israeli police said.

“At around 4.30 p.m., an assailant (…) stabbed a passerby near the Damascus gate in East Jerusalem, then attempted to stab a border police officer,” Israel police said, saying they “neutralized “the man in question.

The latter, a Palestinian, died, the Palestinian Red Crescent told AFP, while an AFP photographer on the spot saw the lifeless body of the young man on the ground near the Damascus gate, just at the exit of the Old City of Jerusalem.

According to Magen David Adom, the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross, the injured person is a 20-year-old Jewish boy hospitalized with stab wounds and currently “in moderate to severe condition.”

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa identified the perpetrator of the attack as Mohammed Chawkat Ahmed Salima, 25, from the town of Salfit, in the northern West Bank occupied by Israel since 1967.

On Saturday evening, Israeli police released a video that shows the assailant attacking a man in traditional ultra-Orthodox clothing, then running towards a policeman before being shot.

Witness images broadcast on social networks show the Palestinian lying on the ground, wounded, on which a member of the Israeli security forces opened fire at least twice and from a distance of a few meters.

– “Full support” –

“I give my full support to the forces which responded adequately to this incident, neutralized the terrorist and prevented further attacks against the police and civilians in the area,” said the commander. police officer Amir Cohen.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett praised the police for acting “swiftly and decisively (…) against a terrorist who attempted to kill an Israeli citizen”.

On the Palestinian side, the foreign ministry accused the Israeli police of having “executed” Salima, citing a “crime against humanity”.

In Jerusalem, Mohammed Hamadeh, a spokesman for the armed Islamist movement Hamas – in power in the Gaza Strip – accused in a brief statement the Israeli police “of having deliberately opened fire on an injured Palestinian lying on the ground ( ….) which is proof of brutality “.

The Israeli police have also been criticized by several Israeli politicians and human rights organizations.

“The execution of a person who no longer represents a threat is a horrible crime”, reacted on Twitter the Arab Israeli deputy Aida Touma Sliman.

“The attacker was not + neutralized +, he was summarily executed,” tweeted the NGO B’Tselem.

Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank and Israel have been the scene from October 2015 and for months of anti-Israel attacks, most often committed by young isolated Palestinians. This violence has since diminished in intensity, but persists sporadically.

An Israeli from South Africa, Eliyahu Kay, 25, was killed on November 22 in a rare gun attack carried out by a Palestinian member of Hamas in the Old City of Jerusalem.

In the process, Israeli forces carried out an operation in a refugee camp in East Jerusalem where the assailant lived, a prelude to clashes there with Palestinians.

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