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Palestinian woman shot dead in Jerusalem’s Old City

A Palestinian woman was shot and killed by Israeli Border Police at the Damascus Gate to Jerusalem’s Old City on Wednesday, the site of several such slayings since October 2015.

Siham al-Nimir, 49, is the only woman among the 15 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces and armed civilians so far this year.

Al-Nimir was shot and killed after allegedly brandishing a pair of scissors at a group of officers.

The police released an image of al-Nimir recorded shortly before she was shot dead:

The image shows that a police barricade separated her from the paramilitary officers, suggesting that she did not pose an immediate threat to their lives. The image also shows there were multiple bystanders at the busy entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City. No Israeli officers were injured during the incident.

Video released by the Israeli police shows a Border Police officer stating that he saw al-Nimir “walking around, completely stressed out, she came toward me and started shouting.”

Witnesses told Palestinian media that Israeli forces prevented emergency medics from treating al-Nimir. Israeli media reported that she was declared dead by Israel’s emergency medical service within minutes of being shot.

Son killed by Israeli police months earlier

Numerous human rights groups, a United Nations human rights investigator, and the US State Department and American lawmakers have all raised concerns about Israel’s reflexive use of deadly force against alleged Palestinian attackers over the past year and a half. Amnesty International stated last September that several such cases should be investigated as possible extrajudicial executions.

More than 250 Palestinians and three foreign nationals have been killed by Israeli forces and armed civilians since October 2015. Approximately 40 Israelis and two foreign nationals have been killed by Palestinians during that same period.

Al-Nimir’s daughter was reported to have been arrested at the site where her mother was shot:

Israeli forces raided a neighborhood near the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, where the al-Nimir family lives, on Wednesday night:

Camp residents confronted Israeli forces at the Shuafat camp checkpoint on Wednesday night:

The woman slain in Jerusalem on Wednesday is the mother of Mustafa al-Nimir, 27, who was shot dead by police in Shuafat camp last September.

Israel immediately claimed that the young man was attempting a car ramming attack on soldiers who had deployed in the camp, but soon admitted that no such attack was taking place when forces opened fire on the vehicle in which Mustafa al-Nimir and his brother-in-law were traveling.

Despite this retraction, Ali al-Nimir, 25, who was driving the car, was charged with “criminally negligent homicide, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, driving without a license and driving without insurance,” the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz reported.

Ali al-Nimir recently signed a plea deal in exchange for a reduced sentence, according to Haaretz.

An image of Siham and Mustafa al-Nimir circulated on social media on Wednesday:

Jerusalem Siham al-Nimir is the second Palestinian killed by Israeli police in Jerusalem’s Old City this month. Ibrahim Matar, 25, was shot dead at a police post near the Lion’s Gate ent

rance to al-Aqsa mosque after allegedly stabbing and wounding two officers shortly before dawn prayers on 13 March.

The ongoing wave of deadly violence that began in October 2015 was provoked by Israel’s unchecked assaults and incursions in the al-Aqsa mosque compound.

Earlier this week, 10 Palestinian security guards were detained, most during raids on their homes, after they prevented an Israeli archaeologist from trying to remove a stone  

from an underground section below the al-Qibli mosque in the compound, the Ma’an News Agency reported.

“The archaeologist was removed from the area, which is closed to the public, but later tried to re-enter via the underground Marwani prayer hall, when the security guards once again rejected him,” Ma’an added.

Dena Shunra contributed translation from Hebrew.


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Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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