A Palestinian died of wounds sustained in the recent clashes at the Temple Mount


A Palestinian who was seriously wounded in the head during clashes on the Temple Mount several weeks ago died of his wounds Saturday morning, medical officials said.

Palestinians said the man, Walid al-Sharif, 21, was hit by a sponge-tipped bullet during the clashes on April 22.

But police said he was injured after he fell and hit his head when he was thrown with stones.

Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem said it arrived at the hospital with a “head injury and is in a very serious condition,” without specifying the cause of the injury publicly. The hospital said he had been in a coma since entering the hospital.

Hours after his killing, Hamas said that Sharif was a member of the movement.

The Islamic Jihad movement in Palestine issued a statement threatening Israel in the wake of Sharif’s killing.

“We mourn the martyr Walid al-Sharif. We affirm that the crimes of the occupation and the blood of innocents will be a curse that pursues the killers,” the movement said.

Clashes and unrest broke out at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which sits on top of the Temple Mount, almost every day during the holy month of Ramadan in April.

Police said that al-Sharif was one of the masked youths who threw stones when he fell to the ground and hit his head on the stone floor. His family objected to this, saying he was hit by a sponge bullet, which the police used that morning.

Police released footage of what they said was Sharif, his face covered with a black and white keffiyeh, and they repeatedly threw stones at Israeli security forces.

The Temple Mount is a frequent flashpoint for Israeli-Palestinian tensions, with clashes there last year helping precipitate the 11-day military conflict between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip after Hamas leaders in the Strip fired rockets into Jerusalem. The site is the holiest site for Jews as the site of biblical temples, and Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site for Muslims.

Jerusalem has served as a torch box in recent weeks, as Palestinians have bored with police on the Temple Mount, the Ramadan and Easter holidays attract thousands to the holy sites, Israeli security forces have launched a crackdown on terror in the West Bank, and armed factions in Gaza have set fires.

On Friday, tensions rose again in Jerusalem with the Israeli police scattered violently Palestinians try to carry the coffin of the murdered journalist Sherine Abu Akleh. Al-Jazeera correspondent was killed Wednesday morning while covering clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian gunmen during an Israeli military operation in the West Bank city of Jenin.

The West Bank has also been the focus of recent tensions as security forces intensified their operations after 19 people were killed in a series of terrorist attacks by Israeli and Palestinian Arabs.

Israeli forces launched massive raids in the West Bank in response to the attacks. According to the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Health, 31 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since late March. Some of them committed violent terrorist attacks, others participated in clashes with soldiers, while others appeared to be unarmed bystanders.

Aaron Boxerman contributed to this report.

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