Israeli police shoot dead Palestinian woman armed with scissors
JERUSALEM - A Palestinian woman said to be the mother of a man killed last year attempted to stab Israeli police with scissors at the entrance to Jerusalem's Old City Wednesday before being shot dead, according to Israeli officials.
The woman pulled the scissors on the security force members at the entrance to Damascus Gate but was shot dead by armed police before she was able to stab anyone, a police spokeswoman said in a statement.
A police image showed the woman running at police with the scissors in the air.
Photos posted on social media showed the middle-aged woman lying face down after the attack outside the gate, a main entrance to the Old City.
A number of other entrances to the Old City, a key tourist attraction in the eastern half of Jerusalem illegally occupied by Israel, were also briefly sealed off.
The incident came ahead of the week-long Passover Jewish holiday beginning April 10, during which security in Jerusalem is often increased.
The Palestinian health ministry identified the dead woman as Siham Nimr, 49, from the Shuafat refugee camp in east Jerusalem.
The Palestinian official news agency said Nimr was the mother of Mustafa Nimr, a 27-year-old who was also shot dead by Israeli police in September.
Police had initially claimed he was an attacker, but later admitted that was untrue and that he and his cousin Ali had merely tried to evade a police spot check near Shuafat while driving.
Ali was later charged with manslaughter, with prosecutors alleging it was his erratic driving that had made the officers shoot.
A wave of violence that broke out in October 2015 has claimed the lives of 258 Palestinians, 40 Israelis, two Americans, one Jordanian, an Eritrean and a Sudanese national, according to an AFP count.
Israeli authorities insist that most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, but some have died during protests or in Israeli air raids on the Gaza Strip. Violence has subsided in recent months.
Human rights groups have accused Israeli security forces of using excessive force to subdue attackers in certain cases, most of which have been carried out by individual assailants, many of them young.
Reviews by the army of two fatal shootings of attackers in October found that the use of deadly force could have been avoided.