Border Police killed two knife-wielding Palestinian attackers in separate incidents in the West Bank on Saturday.
In Hebron, a Palestinian was shot dead by a border policeman after stabbing an officer in the head and chest near the Cave of the Patriarchs, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said. The officer was rushed by paramedics to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
He was conscious and in satisfactory condition, Magen David Adom said.
Samri described the dead Palestinian as being around 20 years old. No further details on his identity were immediately available.
Earlier, 17-year-old Palestinian Ali Abu Ghannam attacked border policemen with a cleaver at a checkpoint near Ma’aleh Adumim and then fled, with troops giving chase and firing warning shots in the air, Samri said.
Reaching a second checkpoint, Abu Ghannam drew another knife and ran toward security guards there. They shot him dead when he ignored their warnings to stop, Samri said. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the incident took place shortly after midnight at the Al-Zayyim checkpoint near Ma’aleh Adumim.
“The suspect charged them and attempted to stab an officer, and when they ordered him to stop he continued to charge,” said Rosenfeld. “He was shot and killed by one of the officers and pronounced dead at the scene.”
Abu Ghannam’s family rejected the Israeli account of the incident. One relative, Mohammed Abu Ghannam, said he did not believe the boy had been armed and that he had been on his way back from a friend’s party when he was killed.
The family was refusing to receive the body, Mohammed Abu Ghannam said, because Israeli authorities had ordered a limit on the number of people allowed at the burial.
A riot erupted in east Jerusalem’s a-Tur Saturday morning, hours after Abu Ghannam, from the neighborhood, was killed.
At around 10, Rosenfeld said police responded to the rioting in the Arab neighborhood.
“Police used non-lethal force to disperse the rioters, and one officer was lightly wounded,” he said, adding that no arrests were made.
Israel Radio reported that 20 Palestinians were injured during the conflict, although Rosenfeld did not confirm the report.
In a statement on Saturday, the Palestinian Authority condemned the killing of Abu Ghannam and dismissed charges that he had tried to stab soldiers.
“This crime proves the cruelty and criminality of the occupation against the defenseless Palestinian people,” it said.
The PA went on to accuse the Israeli authorities of “creating unfounded justifications for carrying out its crimes.”
“Such ugly crimes have occurred more than once under various pretexts, which requires the intervention of the international community to provide protection to our people and work toward ending the occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital on the 1967 borders,” the statement continued.
The PA Foreign Ministry condemned the killing of Ghannam as a “crime against humanity,” noting that it will add the case to Israeli war crimes that would be brought before the International Criminal Court.
Meanwhile, Sultan Abu El Ainain, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, said Israel would pay a price for the killing of the youth.
“Our people wouldn’t receive the killers with roses,” he said. “Palestinian blood won’t remain forever a cost for Israeli adventures.”
Ben Hartman contributed to this report.
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