Police officers shot and hurt two Palestinians allegedly involved in riots in East Jerusalem on Wednesday evening, law enforcement officials said.
According to a police spokesperson, officers of the Jerusalem precinct and Border Police troops operated in the neighborhood of Silwan amid violent protests that included Molotov cocktails hurled at Israeli forces.
The spokesperson said the suspected rioters threw the firebombs and firecrackers at the officers from close range and were shot. The injured pair were transported to hospital for treatment, with one in moderate condition and one in serious condition.
Police said that “at a certain point, a Border Police officer — who was operating at the scene felt his life was in danger due to fireworks being fired directly at him and Molotov cocktails being hurled at him from a range of a few meters — fired accurately at the two suspects and neutralized them,” according to the spokesperson.
Police said they found a utility knife, a Hamas flag, and a bunch of firecrackers among the suspects’ belongings.
Officers also operated in a number of other locations in East Jerusalem on Wednesday, police said, with forces using riot dispersal means to disperse crowds. No police officers were hurt during the violence.
Jerusalem District Police Commander Doron Turgeman instructed officers to increase “operational activity” to maintain order in East Jerusalem, police said.
Earlier Wednesday, police clashed with Palestinians in the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem as they demolished the home of a gunman who killed an Israeli soldier last year. A Palestinian teenager was killed amid the clashes after he aimed a weapon that turned out to be a fake gun at the officers.
A video released by police showed the suspect pointing what appears to be a gun at the forces, then running away as officers opened fire.
At one point he threw the item away, before collapsing. The gun later turned out to be fake and not a real firearm, a police spokesperson said.
The suspect, named as Salah Muhammad Ali, 17, was listed in critical condition and was taken for further medical treatment. Palestinian media later said he had died of his wounds.
Hundreds of police officers entered Shuafat on Wednesday morning to demolish Udai Tamimi’s home. Tamimi is accused of killing Sgt. Noa Lazar, 18, and seriously wounding a civilian guard on October 8, 2022, at a checkpoint near the camp.
Tamimi fled the scene and was killed while attempting to commit another attack at a checkpoint near the entrance of the West Bank settlement city of Ma’aleh Adumim on October 19. One security guard was lightly hurt in the incident
Israel regularly demolishes the homes of Palestinians accused of carrying out deadly terror attacks as a matter of policy. The efficacy of the policy has been hotly debated even within the Israeli security establishment, while human rights activists denounce the practice as unjust collective punishment.
Also Wednesday morning, a Palestinian man who attempted to stab soldiers in the northern West Bank was shot dead. According to the Israel Defense Forces, the Palestinian, armed with a knife, approached an army post on Route 55 near the settlement of Kedumim and tried to stab soldiers.
Surveillance camera footage of the incident showed the suspect exiting a red car next to the army post which is adjacent to a bus stop, running toward the troops, and apparently attempting to stab them, before being shot.
Tensions have soared in the West Bank as the IDF has pressed on with an anti-terror offensive mostly focused on the northern West Bank to deal with a series of attacks that have left 31 people in Israel dead in 2022.
The IDF’s operation has netted more than 2,500 arrests in near-nightly raids. It also left 171 Palestinians dead in 2022, and another 20 since the beginning of the year, many of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, though some were uninvolved civilians.
In arrest raids across the West Bank early Wednesday, the IDF said troops arrested 11 wanted Palestinians.