Israeli military forces have shot dead a Palestinian man over an alleged stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds as thousands of Palestinians are preparing to mark the 69th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe) amid simmering tension in the occupied territories.
Israeli police said the unnamed Palestinian was shot near Bab al-Magharibeh after he allegedly stabbed an Israeli policeman there, Arabic-language Palestine al-Aan news agency reported.
The Israeli police officer was said to be slightly wounded in the purported assault.
Israeli forces were deployed heavily in the area after the incident, and they cordoned off the site.
Every year on May 15, Palestinians all over the world hold demonstrations to commemorate Nakba Day, which marks the anniversary of the forcible eviction of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland by Israelis in 1948.
More than 760,000 Palestinians – now estimated to number nearly five million with their descendants – were driven out of their homes on May 14, 1948.
Since 1948, the Israeli regime has denied Palestinian refugees the right to return, despite United Nations resolutions and international law that upholds people’s right to return to their homelands.
Israel passed a controversial legislation, known as the Nakba Law, in 2011, which authorized the regime’s finance minister to cut the budget of institutions that mark the Nakba Day.
Earlier this week, Israel’s right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party proposed amendments to the law, which calls for imposing severe sanctions on universities, colleges and academic institutions that allow the Nakba Day commemoration.
Palestinians are seeking an independent state in the territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip, with East al-Quds as its capital.
Palestine’s flag was hoisted for the first time at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in September 2015.
In November 2012, the UN General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state” despite strong opposition from Israel.