Three Palestinians shot dead in Jerusalem attack

Three Palestinians shot dead in Jerusalem attack
Three young Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli police in Jerusalem on Wednesday after carrying out an attack that left one police officer dead.
2 min read
04 February, 2016
The attack took place outside the old city in occupied East Jerusalem [AFP]

Three Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli police on Wednesday after they attacked Israeli police officers near Damascus Gate in occupied East Jerusalem, fatally injuring one officer, according to Israeli police.

Israeli police said the three Palestinians attacked the officers with knives and an automatic weapon after being asked to show their IDs.

One of the police officers was shot in the head and pronounced dead at Hadassah Hospital several hours later, while another officer received treatment for stab wounds, according to an Israeli police spokesperson.

Israeli police also said that a number of explosive devices were found at the scene.

The three Palestinians killed were identified as Ahmad Rajeh Ismail Zakarneh, Muhammad Ahmad Hilmi Kamil, and Najeh Ibrahim Abu al-Rub from the village of Qabatiya near the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.

The attack is the latest in four months of near-daily clashes.

At least 167 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since October, 32 of them under the age of 18.

During the same period, 25 Israelis, an American and an Eritrean have been killed by Palestinians.

Israel says a Palestinian campaign of incitement is fanning the violence, while Palestinians say it is stemming from nearly five decades of Israeli occupation.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon last month criticised Israeli policy, saying that it was "human nature" for Palestinians to react violently to Israel's nearly 50-year military occupation.

'Punishing Ramallah'

On Monday, Israel imposed a day-long blockage on the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the West Bank.

Access in and out of Ramallah was sealed off in the early hours of Monday, following an alleged shooting attack by a Palestinian policeman at a checkpoint near the city, which wounded three Israeli soldiers on Sunday.

Palestinians viewed the blockade as collective punishment for the act of one individual, as thousands faced disruptions to their commute to Ramallah.

"They shouldn't punish the entire governorate of Ramallah for a policeman who carried out an attack," said Adnan Damiri, a Palestinian police spokesman.