Ammar Awad / Reuters

Israeli forces kill two Palestinians, injure two others in Jerusalem area

Unrest returns to city after Israeli crackdown that saw protests and clashes shift to West Bank and Gaza

Two Palestinian boys, ages 11 and 14, on Tuesday allegedly stabbed and wounded an Israeli guard on a train, who responded by firing and wounding one of them. The incident occurred hours before Israeli forces killed two other Palestinians accused of carrying out knife attacks, Israeli police said, as street violence returned to Jerusalem after a two-week lull.

In the first attack Tuesday, Israeli police said, two young Palestinian relatives stabbed a security guard on a train in the Israeli settlement of Pisgat Zeev, near Jerusalem. The guard was moderately wounded and shot the younger assailant. Passengers subdued the other, police said, and the wounded boy was being treated at a hospital.

Later that day, Israeli forces killed a 37-year-old Palestinian man outside Jerusalem’s Old City as he reportedly chased guards while wielding a knife, police said. Local media identified the deceased as Muhammad Nimr, a father of three. A Palestinian bystander was injured by a stray bullet fired by the guards, according to Israeli authorities.

A Palestinian uses a sling to hurl stones at Israeli forces during clashes at a protest in Hebron in the West Bank, Nov. 10, 2015.
Mussa Qawasma / Reuters

Israeli police said forces foiled an additional attack in Abu Dis, a Palestinian village bordering East Jerusalem. Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said a Palestinian tried to stab forces at a checkpoint before he was shot dead. The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the deceased as 16-year-old Sadeq Gharbiyeh from the village of Sanur.

Jerusalem had been relatively calm over the last two weeks as the focus of a two-month wave of unrest shifted to the occupied West Bank, where Israeli troops have regularly clashed with Palestinian protesters.

As part of those protests, hundreds of Palestinians rallied in Hebron on Tuesday, demanding Israel return the bodies of people killed in clashes with Israeli forces.

The latest protests, clashes and bloodshed were triggered in October by unrest at a major Jerusalem shrine revered by both Muslims and Jews and quickly spread across Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Israel accuses Palestinian political and religious leaders of inciting the violence. Palestinians say the unrest is the inevitable result of nearly 50 years of Israeli occupation and no hope for gaining independence.

Since the beginning of October, at least 79 Palestinians and 10 Israelis have been killed. More than 2,000 Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli forces, forcing the Red Crescent to declare an emergency.

Palestinian protesters are calling for unrestricted access to worship at Al-Aqsa Mosque, an East Jerusalem site revered by Jews as the location of two ancient temples. The protesters also demand an end to Israel’s decades-long military occupation of the Palestinian territories and the cessation of settlement building, both of which are illegal under international law.

The army deployed hundreds of troops in the city, and police erected checkpoints at the entrances to Palestinian neighborhoods. Israel has eased some restrictions in recent days, and it was unclear how the latest attacks would affect security measures in Jerusalem.

Rights groups have accused Israeli troops of using excessive force against Palestinians, in some cases shooting and killing suspected attackers who the groups say could have been simply subdued and arrested.

Al Jazeera and wire services

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