Palestinians, police clash after E. J’lem assailant, 16, killed

Policeman, 20 Palestinians injured in skirmishes after knife-wielding teenager shot dead in alleged attack on soldier

Illustrative photo of Palestinians clashing with Israeli soldiers, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday Oct. 26, 2014 (photo credit: STR/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of Palestinians clashing with Israeli soldiers, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday Oct. 26, 2014 (photo credit: STR/Flash90)

Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces in East Jerusalem Saturday after the IDF shot dead a Palestinian teen assailant at a checkpoint overnight.

Rioters threw stones at police in the At-Tur neighborhood of East Jerusalem, and Israeli security forces responded with riot control gear. One policeman was lightly injured, Israel Radio reported, and the Red Crescent reported that 20 Palestinians were injured in the skirmish.

No arrests were reported.

The clashes came after the neighborhood of At-Tur declared a state of mourning following the death of Ali Mohammed Ali Said Abu Ghannam, a 16-year-old Palestinian resident who allegedly attempted to stab a Israeli soldier overnight, the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported.

IDF soldiers shot and killed Abu Ghannam early Saturday after the teenager attempted to stab a border police officer with a butcher’s knife at a checkpoint on the road between Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, according to security officials.

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The teenager was pronounced dead by a medical team that arrived at the scene. The officer was not injured in the stabbing attempt.

The Israeli military said the Palestinian was wielding two knives. He tried to attack troops, who chased him, fired warning shots into the air, and then fired to “neutralize him,” a police spokeswoman said.

The incident took place at the Al-Zaim checkpoint. Troops “fired precise shots, neutralizing” the assailant when he failed to heed their warnings, the spokeswoman said.

Earlier Saturday, IDF soldiers detained a Palestinian man who crossed the security fence from the southern Gaza Strip, near the Kerem Shalom border crossing, into Israeli territory. The Palestinian man was transferred to a nearby security facility for further questioning, the Walla news site reported.

Israeli security officials warned Thursday night that the security establishment would not tolerate a “dribble” of rocket attacks against Israel, saying Hamas was responsible for keeping the peace in the Gaza Strip. Following a rocket attack from Gaza Thursday evening, the Erez Crossing was closed on Friday and Gazan worshipers were not allowed into Israel to pray at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque. The visits, instituted several months ago for some Gazans, had been seen as a sign of trust-building after last year’s bloody summer war.

Hamas reportedly conveyed a message to Israel that the rocket — the first fired into Israel this year — was fired by an “errant” group and that it was searching for the shooters.

Israeli forces struck a site in the northern Gaza Strip late Thursday night, hours after a rocket fired from the Palestinian enclave at southern Israel broke months of a shaky truce between the sides. The Israel Defense Forces targeted a “terror site” belonging to Hamas near Beit Hanoun. There were no reports of injuries or damage in Gaza.

The launch of the rocket set off alarms across a number of communities bordering the Gaza Strip, sending many residents scurrying for shelter. There were reports in the Hebrew media that one or two additional rockets may have been launched and landed inside the Palestinian enclave. Officials did not confirm this.

No one was hurt in the rocket attack, and there were no reports of damage.

AP contributed to this report.

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