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Man shot by police near al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem | Middle East and North Africa

A man detained near the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem was shot after grabbing an officer’s gun and shooting it, police said.

They identified the man as a 26-year-old resident of Hura, an Arab village in southern Israel.

Authorities said the incident in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday occurred when officers detained the man for questioning outside the compound of the mosque – the third holiest site in Jerusalem. Islam and often a flashpoint.

Footage shared on social media showed police spreading out en masse in the alleys and gates leading to the compound after the shooting. Scuffles have broken out between police and Palestinian vendors and worshipers who spend the night praying at the mosque during the holy month of Ramadan.

More than 200,000 Palestinians had gathered earlier for the Friday midday prayer at the compound and the ceremony ended without the usual friction with Israeli police.

The hilltop complex is also revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, and incidents in previous years have escalated into clashes in the West Bank and fighting between Israel and Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip.

Since last spring, violence between Israel and the Palestinians has been high. Eighty-six Palestinians have been killed by Israeli or settler fire this year, according to the Associated Press. Israel says most of those killed were militants. Palestinian attacks killed 15 Israelis during the same period.

With Reuters and Associated Press


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