The Israeli police announced on Saturday April 1 that they shot dead a “terrorist” after he attempted to seize a policeman’s gun in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Arrested for questioning near the Chains Gate, one of the accesses to the Esplanade of the Mosques, in East Jerusalem, Palestinian sector of the Holy City, annexed by Israel, ” a suspect “ grabbed a policeman’s gun, and managed to fire one shot without injuring anyone before being shot, according to a police statement.
The incident happened around midnight (Friday at 11 p.m. Paris time). Police identified the slain man as a 26-year-old resident of Houra, a Bedouin town in southern Israel. Nearly an hour later, a photographer from Agence France-Presse (AFP) saw around 100 Israeli policemen deployed in the alleys of the Old City. The situation was calm.
A calm day, before the incident
The tragedy occurred after a huge crowd of Palestinian worshipers gathered on the esplanade on Friday for the great midday prayer on the second Friday of Ramadan. Israeli police, who guard the entrances to the esplanade, said more than 100,000 worshipers had gathered there, “almost twice as much as the second Friday of Ramadan last year”and that more than 2,000 police had been mobilized across the city.
In recent weeks, several foreign chancelleries have expressed concern about possible violence as the Christian and Jewish Easter falls this year during Ramadan and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has experienced a new outbreak of violence since the beginning of the year, including the However, the intensity has dropped significantly over the past week.
On the esplanade, many Palestinians unfurled flags of the Islamist movement Hamas, considered “terrorist” by Israel, according to an AFP journalist, but the day had passed generally calmly until the incident at night.