Israeli Policeman Kills Palestinian Near East Jerusalem

Border Policeman, chasing Palestinian laborers trying to cross into Israel, says gun misfired during struggle with a Hebron man.

An Israeli Border Policeman shot and killed a Palestinian laborer who violently resisted arrest while attempting to infiltrate Israel near East Jerusalem, Army Radio reported on Sunday.

East Jerusalem border police
Tess Scheflan

The Palestinian, a 37-year-old Hebron resident, was spotted by police officers along with 15 other workers while trying to jump the fence near the French Hill neighborhood in northeastern Jerusalem.

A pursuit ensued, during which the Border Policeman caught up with one of the fleeing Palestinians. The Palestinian man then allegedly attempted to wrestle away the policeman's gun, at which point, the officer said, the gun misfired, causing the Palestinian's death.

Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi issued a statement in response to the shooting, saying that "once again Israel's police officers and Border Police shoot and kill an Arab in cold blood. This time it was a father to many children who was trying to enter Jerusalem to find work for livelihood. Again the automatic false claim was made that a Palestinian tried to take a Border Policeman's weapon. Will the police force, once again, rally behind this murdering officer? Will he, too, gain the status of a hero that killed another Arab?"

This latest incident comes amid recent clashes between security forces and East Jerusalem rioters over the killing of a Silwan man late last month, as well as the tenth anniversary of the October 2000 disturbances in which 12 Israeli Arabs and one Palestinian were killed by police.

Some 6,000 people marched in a procession on Friday from the northern town of Kafr Kana to commemorate the events of October 2000, with Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al ), urging Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to reopen the case and indict the officers in question.

"Otherwise, the state will be sending a message that it disregards the lives of its Arab-Israeli citizens and belittles their value because they are Arabs," Tibi said.

Last month, riots erupted near the Western Wall and Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, after a Palestinian man was shot dead by an Israeli security guard earlier in the day.

The guard shot the 32-year-old man while driving through Silwan before dawn, a police spokesman said, adding that the guard told investigators he had opened fire after his car was blocked and stoned by dozens of Palestinians.

More than 10 Israelis were wounded as hundreds of Palestinians began hurling stones toward Israeli security personnel after the funeral of the man killed in Silwan, an area that sees frequent tensions over its settler enclave.