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Clashes break out in Jerusalem after Palestinian who stabbed Israeli is killed by police

A wounded man is led away by Israeli police after a man was shot near the Damascus Gate to the Old City of Jerusalem on Dec. 4. (Mahmoud Illean/AP)
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TEL AVIV — A Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli border police after he stabbed and wounded an Israeli man near Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on Saturday afternoon, spurring violent clashes between Palestinians in the area and Israeli security forces, according to Israeli police reports.

After attacking the Israeli civilian in the neck and upper body, the Palestinian, identified by authorities as Muhammad Suliman, a 25-year-old man from Salfit, in the West Bank, also attempted to use his knife to stab a border police officer, Israeli police said in a statement.

Israel Weingarten, a first responder paramedic from Magen David Adom, Israel’s national emergency medical service, said that the Israeli victim was an ultra-Orthodox man in his 20s who was hospitalized in moderate to severe condition.

Video circulated on social media showing Israeli border police shooting the Palestinian man several times, although he was on the ground and apparently incapacitated.

The Israeli security forces “acted as quickly and decisively as expected, in front of a terrorist who tried to murder an Israeli citizen,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Twitter.

“The execution of a person who no longer poses a threat is a horrible and terrible threat,” tweeted Joint List Knesset member Aida Touma-Sliman.

Israeli police later released footage of the incident, which in all lasted about 30 seconds. It shows the Palestinian man crossing the street, turning to stab the ultra-Orthodox man as he passes, then lunging at Israeli police officers before being shot and ultimately killed by them.

Israeli Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev said that “two or three seconds” after initially shooting the assailant, “the police officers needed to decide if the injured terrorist would detonate an explosive device.”

“When there’s a doubt, there’s no doubt,” Bar-Lev added.

Almost immediately after the incident, Israeli police used tear gas and crowd dispersal methods to tamp down violent clashes near the scene of the attack.

Israeli police said in a statement that in the hour after the attack, “false information has been circulated about additional events around the city in an attempt to heat up the area.”

Several hours later, police said they had arrested and begun interrogating a Palestinian-Israeli man from the northern “triangle” area suspected of having driven the assailant to the scene of the attack on Saturday.

Last week, a Palestinian man, who was a member of Hamas’s political wing and a resident of East Jerusalem, killed one Israeli man and injured four others after opening fire on a group of people near the entrance to a contested holy site in Jerusalem’s Old City.

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