Israeli soldier kills Palestinian in West Bank as violence rises

Fatal shooting comes hours after an Israeli policeman shot dead another Palestinian man near the Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem.

Israeli forces in Beit Ummar
Israeli military says the Palestinian man was shot dead after he rammed his car into a group of soldiers [Mahmoud Illean/ AP]

An Israeli soldier has shot dead a Palestinian man in the occupied West Bank, hours after a policeman killed a medical student at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa compound.

The Palestinian Authority identified the man killed in the West Bank on Saturday as Mohammad Ra’ed Baradiyah, 24.

Witnesses told the Palestinian Wafa news agency that Baradiyah was shot in his car near the town of Beit Ummar and that medics were denied access to the wounded man.

“Baradiyah was left bleeding helplessly until he died of his wounds,” the agency reported.

The Israeli military said Baradiyah was shot dead after he rammed his car into a group of soldiers. Israeli medics said three people were wounded, two of them seriously.

Earlier on Saturday, Israeli police said they shot dead another Palestinian man at the Chain Gate, an access point to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem. Palestinian worshippers at the entrance to the site said the police shot 26-year-old Mohammad Khaled al-Osaibi at least 10 times after he tried to prevent them from harassing a woman who was on her way to the holy compound.

The police, however, alleged al-Osaibi tried to take a gun from an officer and fired it in a scuffle.

Al-Osaibi’s family has disputed the police account of his death and demanded to see security camera footage.

“He is a polite, kind man from a family of doctors who was going to Al-Aqsa for spiritual reasons,” his cousin Fahad al-Osaibi said. “If you want us to believe that he tried to attack police, then show us the security footage.”

Al-Osaibi’s family said he was a physician who had recently passed his exams and earned his medical degree in Romania. He returned to his hometown a month ago, his cousin said, and was caring for his sick father as he worked to get certified in Israel.

Raam, a political party that represents Israel’s Palestinian minority, also rejected the police account of events and called for an investigation. Meanwhile, the umbrella organisation representing Israel’s Palestinian citizens announced a “general strike and day of mourning” on Sunday following the “execution” of al-Osaibi.

The Jerusalem incident at the edge of the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, the third holiest site in Islam, came at a high point of Muslim attendance for the holy month of Ramadan. The compound, revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, is also the most sacred site in Judaism.

Friction at Al-Aqsa has set off violence in recent years, including an 11-day Israeli assault on Gaza that killed more than 200 Palestinians in 2021.

The shootings also take place against a backdrop of simmering tensions after months of violence in areas of Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Since the start of the year, Israeli forces have killed at least 92 Palestinians, according to the Ministry of Health.

Palestinian attackers have killed some 14 people in Israel, including members of the security forces, civilians and one Ukrainian citizen over the same period, according to the AFP news agency.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies