ISRAEL: The army said that Israeli soldiers shot and killed a man after a West Bank vehicle rammed on Saturday, escalating the threat of ending a relative lull in the holy month of Ramadan so far. The death of a Palestinian came less than 24 hours after an Arab Israeli reportedly snatched a gun from a policeman at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque complex and fired it before being shot dead.
The army said that a “terrorist” had done a “ramming attack next to the town of Beit Ummar,” and a spokesperson told AFP that the alleged attacker had died.
Magen David Adom medics said that three men with major, moderate, and minor wounds were taken to hospitals in Jerusalem. The deceased was named Mohammed Baradyah, 23, in a statement by the Palestinian Authority.
Police said that, earlier on Saturday, they shot dead Mohammed al-Asibi, a 26-year-old medical student who was a resident of the southern Israeli Bedouin hamlet of Hura.
Police claim that Asibi snatched a gun from a police officer and fired it at other officers near the Chain Gate, which serves as a gateway to the al-Aqsa mosque complex in the Old City of Israeli-occupied east Jerusalem.
People on the street claimed to have heard gunfire, and an AFP photographer saw a large number of police officers stationed in the Old City at around one in the morning.
Israeli media said that Asibi’s family didn’t believe the police story about how he died and asked to see footage from security cameras.
The Islamist party in the Israeli parliament, Raam, didn’t agree with the police’s version of what happened and asked for an investigation. They did this because witnesses said Asibi stepped in to help a woman who was fighting with the police.
Following Asibi’s “execution” on Sunday, the umbrella organisation for Israel’s Arab residents declared a “general strike and day of mourning.”
Saturday afternoon, police released a second statement saying that the location of the attack was not covered by security cameras. However, they did not change their story about what happened.
The police published a video that appeared to show Asibi wandering the compound by herself. Another piece of footage showed people at the Chain Gate flinching in response to what appeared to be gunshots.
The police also denied the involvement of a woman, claiming that Asibi “arrived alone” and that his presence at the compound after closing time made them suspicious.
The shooting took place a few hours after tens of thousands of Palestinians crowded the compound of the al-Aqsa mosque for the second Friday prayers of Ramadan, which went off peacefully despite the dread of bloodshed during the sacred month.
Since the beginning of the year, there has been more fighting between Israelis and Palestinians. This has made people more worried about fighting during Ramadan.
88 Palestinians, including militants and civilians, as well as one Arab Israeli, have died in combat since the year’s beginning. Reports say that 14 more Israelis, including security workers and civilians, and one Ukrainian have died in the same period.