The man killed on Saturday is 26-year-old Mohammad Khaled al-Osaibi from Houra.
Israeli police shot and killed a Palestinian man at the entrance to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, raising fears of further violence.
The man killed on Saturday was 26-year-old Mohammad Khaled al-Osaibi from Houra, a Bedouin Arab village in southern Israel. The incident happened around midnight near the Chain Gate, an access point to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, police said.
Palestinian worshipers at the entrance to the site on Saturday said police shot a man at least 10 times after he tried to stop them from harassing a woman who was on her way to the holy compound.
Police claimed al-Osaibi tried to take the officer’s gun and fired it in the scuffle.
A few hours after the incident, the muddy stone alley leading to the compound was still stained with blood.
Israeli police have increased their forces in the area as tens of thousands of Muslim worshipers from Jerusalem and the Israeli-occupied West Bank gather for Ramadan prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
On Friday, more than 200,000 Palestinians gathered for midday prayers in the compound, which passed peacefully.
Noureddine, a 17-year-old who lived in the neighborhood and declined to give his last name for fear of reprisals, said he saw al-Osaibi clash with police who stopped the worshiper on her way to the mosque.
Al-Osaibi’s relationship with the woman was not clear. Noureddine said some sort of altercation broke out between al-Osaibi and the officers before he heard about a dozen gunshots.
“Nothing can justify this number of shots,” he said, pointing to chaotic footage he captured showing Palestinian vendors and worshipers screaming at the sound of bullets being fired in rapid succession. “They were all up close.”
Palestinian media have widely reported that al-Osaibi is a doctor who recently studied medicine in Romania.
Noureddine said police tried to drive Palestinian vendors and worshipers out of the area after the incident, beating him and others with batons. Israeli police briefly closed the site before reopening it for dawn prayers.
In previous years, during Ramadan, Israeli police attacked Palestinians gathered around Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site. This year, Ramadan coincides with the Jewish Passover and the Christian Easter.
In 2021, the expulsion of Palestinian families from their homes in Jerusalem served as a catalyst for widespread Palestinian protests across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.
Raids by Israeli security forces on the Al-Aqsa mosque during Ramadan further heightened tensions and, four days later, an 11-day Israeli assault on Gaza began, allegedly in response to rockets fired at Israel by Hamas.