Multiple killings by Israel of Palestinians suspected of knife attacks have been described as extrajudicial executions.
A Palestinian man has been shot dead by Israeli police after he tried to stab an officer at an entrance to East Jerusalem’s Old City, according to an Israeli police spokesperson.
Speaking to Al Jazeera from the site of Monday’s incident, witnesses questioned the Israeli police version, saying the Palestinian man was not holding a knife.
Another witnesses told Palestinian Maan News Agency that there was no attempted stabbing at the time and the man was shot dead as he was walking in the area.
It was the latest incident in a recent wave of Israeli violence against alleged Palestinian attackers.
Luba Samri, Israeli police spokeswoman, said officers noticed the Palestinian acting suspiciously and ordered him to take his hand out of his pocket.
Samri said the man then attacked an officer with a knife, adding that the officer was wearing a protective vest and was not injured. Israeli police said they would release a video to prove that the incident was a stabbing attempt.
The incident took place near the Lions Gate of Jerusalem’s walled Old City in the occupied eastern side of the city.
Wave of violence
With the latest death, the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of the month has risen to 25, and at least 1,300 Palestinians were injured, the Palestinian health ministry (Arabic) reported.
In the same period, four Israelis have been killed and 67 injured in attacks by Palestinians.
On Sunday, a Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes at a checkpoint near Ramallah city.
Ahmad Sharaka, 13, was shot in the neck with live ammunition when Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian demonstrators outside Beit El, a Jewish-only settlement near Ramallah.
His funeral was expected to take place at Al Jalazon refugee camp later on Monday.
Heavy clashes took place on Sunday in cities and villages across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, after weeks of protests prompted by tensions over al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
Frustration has boiled over into violence as Israel continues to build Jewish-only settlements throughout the West Bank in defiance of international law.
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, has blamed the violence on incitement by groups including the Islamic Movement, which runs religious and educational services for Muslims in Israel.
Netanyahu is seeking sanctions on the group, which has led a campaign accusing Israel of plotting to take over the sacred Old City compound revered by both Jews and Muslims, a claim Israel denies.
Israeli police said they had arrested a local leader of the Islamic Movement in the Bedouin Arab town of Rahat in southern Israel who was suspected of organising a group of protesters who vandalised security cameras and other property in the town on Friday.