By Anees Barghouti
JERUSALEM (AA): A Palestinian man was shot dead Wednesday after allegedly stabbing an Israeli police officer in occupied East Jerusalem, according to the Israeli police.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said one police officer was slightly injured in the alleged knife attack near Jerusalem’s Old City.
“Police responded at the scene and shot the assailant,” Rosenfeld said in a statement.
The alleged assailant, he added, “later succumbed to his injuries at an Israeli hospital”.
Israeli military sources claimed that the young man, later identified as Hammad Khader Sheikh, 21, stabbed two officers with a screw driver, at the Lion’s Gate, before the soldiers shot him dead. Sheikh is from Beit Surik town, northwest of Jerusalem.
The sources added that Hammad, from the southern West Bank city of Hebron, was first moved to Hadassah Israeli Medical Center, in Jerusalem, and later succumbed to his serious wounds.
Eyewitnesses said the soldiers fired many live rounds at Sheikh, and left him bleeding onto the ground for nearly twenty minutes.
A Palestinian doctor, who was in the area, tried to help Sheikh, but the soldiers forced him away, and later allowed the doctor to approach him just before an Israeli ambulance arrived at the scene and moved him to the hospital.
Several hours before his death, Hammad wrote a post on his Facebook page stating “My wish for you all, is that if I don’t return, I will see you in heaven.”
According to Palestinian figures, close to 255 Palestinians have been killed since the current uptick in Israeli-Palestinian violence began late last year.
Israel, for its part, says 42 Israelis have been killed in attacks by Palestinians over the same period.
Muhabir Aness Suheil Barghoti
Additional reporting from imemc.org
[Photo: Hammad Khader Sheikh shot dead by Israeli forces in East Jerusalem. Photograph by Imemc]