Palestinian killed in Jerusalem after stabbing two soldiers

Published February 19th, 2016 - 10:57 GMT
Israeli police stand in front of Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, October 5, 2015. (AFP/File)
Israeli police stand in front of Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, October 5, 2015. (AFP/File)

A Palestinian was shot dead after stabbing and wounding two Israeli border police officers outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City on Friday morning, Israeli police said, Maan reports.

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said the border police officers opened fire on the 20-year-old Palestinian after he drew a knife on them.

Rosenfeld said the Palestinian was killed, while both officers were lightly wounded and evacuated to hospital.

Israeli media sites published a photograph purportedly showing the Palestinian's ID, which identified him as 20-year-old Muhammad Abu Khalaf from the town of Kufr Aqab in northern East Jerusalem.

Rosenfeld said the area was closed off and there was "heightened security in the area."

Damascus Gate has been the site of a number of deadly encounters between Palestinians and Israelis since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory in October last year.

On Sunday this week, two Palestinians armed with guns were shot dead at the landmark site after attempting to launch an attack on border police.

Two days later, a Palestinian from Jenin was detained at the gate on suspicion of planning an attack after a knife was found under his sleeve.

A Palestinian teenage girl was detained at the site earlier in the month, on Feb. 9, after allegedly drawing a knife on Israeli police officers and attempting to stab them.

That incident came less than a week after three more Palestinian youths were shot dead there on Feb. 3 after killing an Israeli police officer and wounding another in an attack carried out with an automatic gun and knives.

More than 170 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers since October. Israel says the majority were shot dead while attempting to carry out attacks, although international rights groups have disputed Israel's version of events in several cases.

The attacks that have taken place -- mostly by Palestinian individuals armed only with knives -- have killed nearly 30 Israelis.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said last month it was "human nature" for Palestinians to react violently to Israel's nearly 50-year military occupation, as he urged a change in Israeli policy in the occupied Palestinian territory.

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