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Palestinian dies, another shot as tensions high in West Bank

By AFP - Sep 22,2015 - Last updated at Sep 22,2015

Palestinian mourners carry the body of Dia Al Talahmeh, 21, covered with the flag of the Islamic Jihad group, during his funeral in the West Bank village of Khursa, near Hebron, Tuesday (AP photo)

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — A Palestinian died while handling an explosive device and another was shot by Israeli forces in the West Bank on Tuesday as tensions rose ahead of major religious holidays for Jews and Muslims.

Both incidents occurred in the Hebron area of the southern West Bank ahead of the Yom Kippur and Eid Al Adha holidays and after three days of clashes rocked Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque compound last week.

Jerusalem remained calm on Tuesday, but was under tight security, with thousands of forces’ officers deployed and authorities closing off the city to residents of the occupied West Bank.

Overnight in the village of Dura near Hebron, a Palestinian was killed by an explosive device he intended to toss at a military vehicle, an Israeli military spokeswoman said. Residents provided a similar account.

Palestinian security officials however said he was shot dead by Israeli troops. They named him as Dia Al Talahmeh, 21.

The army spokeswoman said a patrol had been deployed to clear stones blocking a road outside Hebron.

"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.

Separately on Tuesday morning, Israeli troops shot and wounded a Palestinian woman at a checkpoint near the centre of Hebron, witnesses said. The Israeli military said she had attempted to stab a soldier.

"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."

Witnesses named her as 18-year-old Hadeel Al Hashlamon.

Tensions have been running high across the West Bank, including Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, ahead of the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday which begins at sundown on Tuesday.

The Muslim Eid Al Adha holiday begins on Wednesday evening and continues until Sunday.

Israel has deployed thousands of forces in Jerusalem and shut it off from the West Bank, with checkpoints closed for the holiday as in previous years.

 

There were also age restrictions on Muslims entering Al Aqsa compound in Jerusalem's Old City, with men under 40 prohibited. Israeli authorities implement such age restrictions when tensions are high in a bid to avoid violence.

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