The family of a young Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces in occupied East Jerusalem accused Israeli police of lying about the circumstances of his death, Anadolu reports.
Mohammad al-Osaibi, a 26-year-old doctor from Houra, a Bedouin Arab village in southern Israel, was killed by Israeli police forces at an entrance to Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied city early Saturday.
Israeli police said al-Osaibi attempted to snatch an officer’s gun after he was stopped for questioning, prompting forces to shoot the young man.
Following the incident, Israeli forces shut the gates of the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex to worshippers.
But al-Osaibi’s family denied the police version of events.
“The police are lying,” the family said in a statement. “They fired more than 20 bullets at him when he had nothing in his possession.”
The family said al-Osaibi was shot when he intervened to help a Palestinian girl.
Eyewitnesses said Israeli police officers detained a girl as she was on her way to the flashpoint site, triggering clashes with a group of Palestinians, including al-Osaibi.
“The police shot al-Osaibi from a short distance, without justification,” an eyewitness said in statements cited by Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.
Tensions have been running high across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in recent months amid repeated Israeli raids into Palestinian towns.
Over 90 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the start of this year, according to Palestinian figures. Fourteen Israelis have also been killed in separate attacks during the same period.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third-holiest site. Jews, for their part, call the area as the Temple Mount, saying it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move never recognized by the international community.