Palestinian dies of head injury in Jerusalem violence


JERUSALEM (AP) — A 21-year-old Palestinian man died Saturday from a head injury sustained last month after Israeli police fired rubber bullets at stone-throwing Palestinian protesters during violence at the most sensitive holy site. of Jerusalem.

Israel’s Hadassah hospital announced the death early Saturday, saying only that Waleed Shareef had died weeks after being hospitalized with serious head injuries. His family confirmed the death.

Shareef was injured on April 22 at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, the site of repeated clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters in recent weeks.

An amateur video from the time shows a large group of Palestinians fleeing from the direction of heavy Israeli fire. Immediately after a shot, Shareef is seen falling on his face and lying motionless on the ground. The Israeli police quickly evacuated him.

At the time, police fired sponge-tipped bullets to disperse a crowd of masked Palestinians who he said were throwing stones and fireworks at police and near the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest place of prayer.

Palestinian witnesses and Shareef’s family say he was shot in the head with a rubber bullet, while Israeli authorities suggested he died of injuries sustained when he fell to the ground. Hadassah officials on Saturday declined to give a precise cause of the head injury.

The family’s lawyer, Firas Jebreeni, said the family refused an Israeli request for an autopsy, but police refused to let them see the body and took it without permission to Israel’s main forensic institute. He said that he appealed to an Israeli court to avoid an autopsy and return the body to the family.

Her death came a day after Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known Al Jazeera journalist who was killed during an Israeli army raid on the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, was buried in Jerusalem at a mass funeral in which Israeli police pushed and hit mourners and pallbearers.

Palestinians, including fellow journalists who were with her, say she was killed by Israeli gunfire. The Israeli army says there was an exchange of fire with Palestinian gunmen at the time, and it is unclear who fired the fatal bullet.

Shareef was injured during the violence at a disputed compound that houses the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, and revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, home to the biblical Temples and the holiest site in Judaism. Competing claims to the site lie at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the complex is a frequent scenes of violence.

Israel captured East Jerusalem, home to the Old City and its sensitive religious sites, in the 1967 Middle East war. Israel claims the entire city as its capital and annexed East Jerusalem in a move that is not recognized internationally. The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state.


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