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Israeli forces kill young Palestinian man over alleged stabbing attempt

This picture, taken on February 22, 2020, shows the scene of a purported stabbing attack in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds. (Photo by Haaretz newspaper)

Israeli military forces have shot dead a young Palestinian man in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds for an alleged stabbing attempt against police forces amid tensions over the so-called deal of the century unveiled by US President Donald Trump last month on the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israeli media outlets claimed that Israeli forces recognized the Palestinian while he was running and wielding a knife near Lion’s Gate, known in Arabic as Bab al-Asbat, on Saturday morning.

Israeli troops purportedly yelled at the young Palestinian man, identified as 33-year-old Maher Ibrahim Zaatra, to stop, at which point he started running towards them. The officers said they responded by shooting at him.

A 42-year-old settler sustained a leg injury, when the Palestinian was shot, probably by a ricochet of the bullet fired at him. She sustained mild injuries but was transferred to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem al-Quds.

Eyewitnesses confirmed that the Palestinian man was shot several times and left on the ground bleeding before Israeli paramedics arrived at the scene.

Hours later, Israeli forces raided his home in the Jabal Mukabbir neighborhood of southern East Jerusalem al-Quds, and detained his mother and two of his brothers.

On Friday, a young Palestinian woman was arrested at the Armon Hanatziv promenade, which lies in the Jewish neighborhood of East Talpiot or Armon HaNetziv in southern East Jerusalem al-Quds, over an alleged stabbing attempt. No injuries were reported.

The developments come amid tensions in the occupied territories since Trump's unveiling on January 28 of his controversial peace plan, which was negotiated with Israel but without the Palestinians.

Palestinian leaders, who severed all ties with Washington in late 2017 after Trump controversially recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of the Israeli regime, immediately rejected the plan, with President Mahmoud Abbas saying it “belongs to the dustbin of history.”

Palestinian leaders say the deal is a colonial plan to unilaterally control historic Palestine in its entirety and remove Palestinians from their homeland, adding that it heavily favors Israel and would deny them a viable independent state.

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