Thu May 4, 2017 10:22AM
Israeli forces gather at the site where a Palestinian man was shot near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron), on May 4, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Israeli forces gather at the site where a Palestinian man was shot near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron), on May 4, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
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Israeli forces have shot and injured a Palestinian man over an alleged stabbing attack against an Israeli police officer near a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli Police Spokeswoman Luba al-Samri claimed that the Palestinian man, in his twenties, approached a checkpoint in the vicinity of the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) on Thursday, and attempted to stab an officer with a knife.

“Officers responded when the suspect approached them armed with a knife,” said the official, adding that the young Palestinian “was shot and the area closed off.”

The spokeswoman also noted that the Palestinian sustained injuries and had been taken to Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem al-Quds, some 30 kilometers north of al-Khalil.

Israeli police had initially reported that the Palestinian had a toy gun and grenade with him, prompting Israeli forces to open fire, thinking that the weapons were real. But a later statement said that the information had been false and based on mere suspicions, clarifying that no such items were found.

An Israeli soldier stands at the site where a Palestinian man was shot near the site known as the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron), on May 4, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The flashpoint city of al-Khalil is home to some 200,000 Palestinians, among whom several hundred Israeli settlers live under heavy guard.

Over the past months, Israeli forces have fatally shot many Palestinians in the occupied territories, claiming they sought to attack the Israelis. Tel Aviv has come under fire by rights groups for encouraging a shoot-to-kill policy.

In January, Human Rights Watch voiced deep concerns over the increasing number of Israeli officials encouraging troops to kill Palestinians even when they are not a threat.

The occupied Palestinian territories have particularly witnessed increased tensions ever since Israeli forces introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds in August 2015.

Over 300 Palestinians have been killed at the hands of Israeli forces since the beginning of October 2015. Some 37 Israelis have also been killed since then.