The Israeli army have allegedly killed a Palestinian man and wounded a woman in two separate incidents in the occupied West Bank's flashpoint area of Hebron that highlight increased tensions ahead of Yom Kippur and Eid al-Adha holidays. The Palestinian man, 21-year-old Dia al-Talahmeh, was shot dead by Israeli troops in the village of Dura, near Hebron, according to Palestinian security officials.
However, according to an Israeli army spokeswoman, the man was killed by an explosive device he wanted to throw at a military vehicle. "The soldiers heard an explosion and during a search of the sector they found the body of a Palestinian killed by the explosive device he intended to throw at one of our vehicles," she said.
On a separate incident, an 18-year-old Palestinian woman was shot and wounded at a checkpoint that separates the Israeli settlers and Palestinians near the centre of Hebron. The IDF said she attempted to stab soldiers in the city.
"An attack was thwarted when a Palestinian attempted to stab an (Israeli) soldier at a military position in Hebron," an army statement said. "(Israeli) forces responded, fired towards the perpetrator and identified a hit. The terrorist is receiving medical care by the forces on the scene."
Tension is high ahead of the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday which begins on 22 September. The Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday begins on 23 September, running until 27 September. The Israeli army is to seal off the occupied West Bank and Gaza during the holidays as it did in previous years.
Riots erupted between Palestinians and Israeli police in Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina, and the flashpoint for violence in divided Jerusalem for decades.
Palestinian protesters holed up inside the mosque throwing stones and petrol bombs at Israeli police, who fought back before sealing the doors of the building. Palestinians claim the police entered the mosque itself.
Last Thursday, as reported by Kate Shuttleworth on IBTimes UK, violence spilled into the warren of streets and alleys that surround the Al Aqsa compound, which contains both the mosque and Dome of the Rock, with its golden dome. On Friday, Jerusalem was poised for more violence with a heavy police presence and journalists being prevented from entering the Old City at all.