A Palestinian minor has been shot dead and another seriously wounded after they attacked an Israeli policeman in occupied East Jerusalem‘s Old City, according to Israeli police.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed on Thursday that one Palestinian had been killed, adding that the condition of the other was unknown.
Israel’s Shaare Tzedek hospital said the wounded person was in a critical condition. Police said they were both minors, adding that the officer was moderately wounded.
Video footage posted on social media and aired on Israeli television showed two young men approaching a police officer close to a gate entrance to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. The youths appear to draw knives and stab the police officer before other officers shoot them multiple times.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said a guard from the Islamic Waqf, which manages the nearby compound, was also shot and transported to a hospital in East Jerusalem, according to the Wafa news agency.
The incident took place days after Israeli police clashed with Muslim worshippers at the holy site, when Jewish and Muslim holidays overlapped.
Sunday marked the start of Eid al-Adha and thousands of Palestinians prayed at Al-Aqsa. It was also the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’av, which led to an increase in visits by Jewish religious nationalists to the site.
Police had initially barred Jewish visits to the site on Sunday but Muslim worshippers feared they would be allowed in and protested there, leading to clashes with the police.
After a period of calm and following criticism from far-right Israeli politicians, police opened the site to Jewish visitors, sparking more clashes.
The complex is the third holiest site in Islam and the holiest in Judaism and is one of the most sensitive sites in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the 1967 war and later annexed the eastern half of the city in a move that has not been recognised by the international community.
Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future state, while Israel sees the whole city as its capital.