World Bulletin/News Desk
Israeli forces on Thursday shot and killed a Palestinian suspect in the shooting of a far-right Jewish rabbi in Jerusalem one day earlier.
Israeli police said that Moataz Hegazi, a former Palestinian prisoner, was killed when he opened fire on Israeli forces trying to arrest him in East Jerusalem.
"Police counter terrorist unit surrounded house in Abu Tor searching for suspect. Shots fired at them & suspect was shot & killed immediately," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld wrote on Twitter.
Local Palestinian sources confirmed that Hegazi was killed and three other Palestinians were injured in the Israeli raid.
Israeli authorities accuse Hegazi of shooting far-right rabbi Yehuda Glick, who is notorious for leading groups of Jews to force their way into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in Jerusalem late Wednesday.
Following the rabbi's shooting, Israeli authorities shut the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem indefinitely for the first time since 1967.
"Israeli authorities shut the Al-Aqsa Mosque entirely since dawn," Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, head of the Jordan-run Organization for Muslim Endowments and Al-Aqsa Affairs, told Anadolu Agency.
He said that the holy site has never been shut since 1967, when Israel occupied East Jerusalem.
"We are holding contacts to reopen the mosque to Muslim worshippers," al-Khatib said.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.
In September 2000, a visit to the site by controversial Israeli politician Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the "Second Intifada" – a popular uprising against the Israeli occupation in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.
Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said 31 people had been aboard the amphibious vessel, known as a duck boat for its wheels that allow it to ride on land in addition to floating low on the water.
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