The family of a young Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces in East Jerusalem has 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 the entrance to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied city early Saturday.
Israeli police said al-Osaibi tried to swipe an officer’s gun after he was stopped for questioning, prompting forces to shoot the young man.
Following the incident, Israeli forces closed 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 hit him with more than 20 bullets when he had nothing in his possession.”
READ: Israeli occupation forces kill Palestinian youth in Al-Aqsa Mosque
The family said al-Osaibi was shot when he intervened to help a Palestinian girl.
Eyewitnesses said Israeli police officers detained a girl on her way to the flashpoint site, sparking clashes with a group of Palestinians, including al-Osaibi.
“The police shot al-Osaibi from a short distance, without justification,” said an eyewitness in statements quoted by Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.
In recent months, tensions have continued throughout the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, amid repeated Israeli raids on Palestinian towns.
Over 90 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the beginning of this year, according to Palestinian figures. Fourteen Israelis were also killed in separate attacks during the same period.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa is the third holiest site in the world. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the Temple Mount, saying that 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, a move never recognized by the international community.
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