Israeli forces kill Palestinian teen trying to enter Jerusalem on last Friday of Ramadan
A Palestinian boy from the occupied West Bank was shot dead by Israeli forces on Friday while trying to enter Jerusalem ahead of a night considered the holiest of Ramadan, Palestinian media has reported.
Abdullah Ghaith, 16, from the West Bank city of Hebron, was trying to cross into Jerusalem to pray at the revered Al-Aqsa mosque for the last Friday prayers of Ramadan.
Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported that Ghaith was shot in the chest and that another man was also critically injured.
Earlier on Friday, in a separate incident, an 18-year-old Palestinian was shot dead by police after allegedly stabbing two Israelis in Jerusalem.
The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health reportedly identified the Palestinian as Yousef Wajih, from the village of Abwein in the central West Bank.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the force had increased checks at the Qalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, where thousands of Palestinians usually cross on Fridays during Ramadan. Rosenfeld said that a knife was found concealed in the jacket of a Palestinian man.
No entry to Al-Aqsa
Palestinians from the West Bank are usually barred from entering Jerusalem without a hard-to-obtain permit. The restrictions are eased for men over 50 and women during Ramadan, offering them a rare chance to pray at Al-Aqsa, the third holiest site in Islam.
But young Palestinian men and boys are still refused entry. Thousands often jump the separation wall to enter the city and pray at Al-Aqsa during Ramadan, thereby defying the ban.
Friday is likely to see higher numbers than usual because it will be the 27th night of Ramadan, also known as Laylat al-Qadr, thought to be the holiest in the month, when at least 300,000 worshippers usually fill the mosque and its surroundings.