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Palestinian man dies of head injury in Jerusalem violence

A 21-year-old Palestinian man died of a head wound sustained last month after Israeli police fired rubber bullets at stone-throwing Palestinian protesters at Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site

JERUSALEM — A 21-year-old Palestinian man died on Saturday of 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 died weeks after being hospitalized with serious head injuries. His family confirmed the death.

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

Amateur video from the time shows a large group of Palestinians fleeing 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 foam bullets to disperse a crowd of masked Palestinians who they said were throwing rocks and fireworks towards police and near the Western Wall – the holiest place of prayer. of Judaism.

Palestinian witnesses and Shareef’s family say he was shot in the head with a rubber bullet, while Israeli authorities have suggested he died from injuries sustained when he fell to the ground. Hadassah officials on Saturday declined to give a specific cause for 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 transported it without permission to the main forensic institute in ‘Israel. He said he appealed to an Israeli court to prevent the autopsy and return the body to the family.

His death came a day after Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known Al Jazeera journalist who was killed in an Israeli army raid in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, was laid to rest in Jerusalem at a funeral for mass in which Israeli police pushed and beat mourners and porters.

Palestinians, including fellow journalists who accompanied her, say she was killed by Israeli fire. 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 in 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 biblical temples and the most sacred in Judaism. Competing claims to the site are at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the compound is a frequent scene 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 not internationally recognised. The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state.

ABC News

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