Palestinian Tries to Stab Police Officers in Jerusalem and Is Shot Dead, Police Says

The shooting took place after the youth ran toward officers stationed at the A-Zaim checkpoint wielding a large knife, a statement issued by the police said.

The A-Zayyim checkpoint, April 25, 2015.
The A-Zayyim checkpoint, April 25, 2015. Olivier Fitoussi

A Palestinian youth was shot dead Friday night, after he tried to stab Border Police officers at a security post near the A-Zaim checkpoint, East Jerusalem.

A statement issued by the police described the events as follows: The Palestinian, identified as the 17-year-old Ali Abu Ghannam, arrived at the A-Zaim checkpoint. He began running toward a number of police officers at a checking station wielding a large knife. He was pushed back by one of the officers, at which point he started running in the direction of the crossing. The officers shouted at him to stop, warning that they would shoot if he didn't. Combatants guarding the checkpoint saw the youth running toward them and shot him.

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 was 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 measure often imposed by Israel at the funerals of Palestinian militants in Jerusalem.

Violence in the Jerusalem area has flared on and off since just before a 50-day July-August Gaza war when Israelis killed a Palestinian youth in revenge for the slayings of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers.

Israeli tanks fired at Gaza on Friday after Israel said a rocket was fired from the Hamas Islamist dominated territory during Independence Day celebrations a day earlier. There were no casualties in those incidents.