Hours after the incident, the muddy stone alleyway leading to the compound was still stained with blood
Israeli Police forces deployed in the Old City in annexed east Jerusalem. Pic/AFP
Israeli police shot and killed a man who allegedly tried to snatch an officer’s gun at an entrance to a Jerusalem holy site early on Saturday. It raised fears of further violence during a time of heightened tensions at the flashpoint compound. The police said the slain man was 26-year-old Mohammed Alasibi from Hura, a Bedouin Arab village in southern Israel.
Palestinian worshippers at the entrance to the site on Saturday morning had a different account, saying that police shot the man at least 10 times after he tried to prevent them from harassing a woman who was on her way to the holy compound. Hours after the incident, the muddy stone alleyway leading to the compound was still stained with blood.
Authorities said that officers detained the man for questioning outside the sacred compound home to Al-Aqsa Mosque in the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City, the third holiest shrine in Islam. The compound, revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, is also the most sacred site in Judaism.
The city’s contested compound has been a focus for clashes in the past, particularly in times of turmoil in Israel and the West Bank. This year, as violence surges in the occupied territory under the most right-wing government in Israeli history, fears of an escalation in Jerusalem have mounted with the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Israeli Police have boosted their forces in the area as tens of thousands of Muslim worshippers from Jerusalem and the West Bank gather for prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
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