JERUSALEM: Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian during late night clashes in an East Jerusalem refugee camp on Saturday, a spokeswoman said, in a further wave of violence that has raised concerns about a new Palestinian uprising.
Police said that Palestinians hurled rocks, petrol bombs and explosives at paramilitary police forces in the Shuafat refugee camp and that one man opened fire at Israeli officers, who shot back at him.
Hospital officials later confirmed the 25-year-old had died and Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian militant group which controls the Gaza Strip, said in a statement that he was one of its members.
Tensions have surged in 11 days of violence in which four Israelis and 16 Palestinians – including several assailants shot by police, have been killed in East Jerusalem, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Gaza and Israeli cities.
Scores of Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli troops and at least 10 Israelis have been wounded in almost daily Palestinian stabbing attacks.
Palestinians have been angered by events at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City and fear Israel wants to change the status quo at the holy site, revered by Muslims as theNoble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said repeatedly he will not allow any change to the arrangements under which Jews are allowed to visit the site but non-Muslim prayer is banned. His assurances have done little to quell alarm among Muslims across the region.
The violence is not of the intensity of two Palestinian uprisings in the late 1980s and early 2000s but it has prompted talk of a third “intifada”.
On Friday Israeli soldiers shot dead seven Palestinians in protests near the Gaza border and a knife-wielding Israeli wounded four Arabs in the southern Israeli town of Dimona.
In the northern town of Afula, an Israeli-Arab woman was shot and wounded by police who closed in on her as she held up a knife. Police said she had tried to stab a security guard.
In Jerusalem’s walled Old City, a Palestinian stabbed and wounded a 14-year-old Israeli, and near a Jewish settlement in the West Bank city of Hebron, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli policeman before being shot dead.
Both Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have called for calm and Palestinian police continue to coordinate with Israeli security forces to try to restore order, but there are few signs of the violence dying down.