Israeli officers shoot dead Palestinian attacker in Jerusalem Old City

Emergency teams evacuate a wounded Palestinian man after a stabbing attack took place in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Emergency teams evacuate a wounded Palestinian man after a stabbing attack took place in the Old City of Jerusalem.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

JERUSALEM (REUTERS) - Israeli police shot and killed a knife-wielding Palestinian who attempted to stab police officers in Jerusalem's Old City on Friday (Sept 10), officials said.

Palestinian officials identified the deceased as a 50-year-old doctor from East Jerusalem, who residents said had faced financial issues in recent months.

Hundreds of Palestinians had gathered earlier in the walled Old City's Al Aqsa Mosque compound, where they protested in support of six militants who broke out of a maximum security Israeli jail this week.

Israel's military has launched a manhunt after the six men escaped through a hole in the floor of a prison cell on Monday.

With the men still at large, the military arrested some of their relatives in the northern West Bank this week, sparking Palestinian protests and clashes with Israeli troops.

Soon after the Jerusalem protest, a Palestinian wielding a knife attempted to stab police officers near one of the mosque compound's gates, a police spokeswoman said. Officers shot him before he could strike them, she added.

The man was transferred in critical condition to Jerusalem's Hadassah Medical Centre, where he died of his injuries, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Israel captured East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Middle East war. Palestinians seek the territories for a future state.

Palestinians regard brethren jailed by Israel as heroes in their struggle for statehood. This week's escapees, five of whom are members of the Islamic Jihad militant group and one of the Fatah group, have either been convicted or are suspected of planning or carrying out deadly attacks against Israelis.

Israel's public security minister said on Thursday he would form a commission of inquiry to probe the escape.