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Israeli police kill unarmed Palestinian in Jerusalem

Israeli police shot dead a Palestinian near Jerusalem's Old City on Saturday who they had suspected was carrying a weapon but turned out to be unarmed.

The police say he was carrying “a suspicious object that looked like a pistol” and ran away when ordered to stop. The police say they chased him on foot and opened fire.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld later said that no gun was found in the area.

Israeli police officers secure the area of Lion's gate in Jerusalem's Old City, Saturday, May 30, 2020. Israeli police shot dead a Palestinian near Jerusalem's Old City who they had suspected was carrying a weapon but turned out to be unarmed. (AP PhotoMahmoud Illean)

A relative of the deceased identified him as Iyad Halak, 32. The relative said Halak was mentally disabled and was heading to a nearby school for people with special needs. The relative spoke on condition of anonymity because of privacy concerns.

The shooting came a day after Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank who they said had tried to ram them with his vehicle. No Israelis were wounded in either incident.

Tensions have risen in recent weeks as Israel has pressed ahead with plans to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank in line with President Donald Trump's Middle East plan, which strongly favors Israel and was rejected by the Palestinians.

The Palestinian Authority said last week that it was no longer bound by past agreements with Israel and the United States and was cutting off all ties, including longstanding security coordination.

Lone Palestinian attackers with no clear links to armed groups have carried out a series of stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks in recent years. The PA is not allowed to operate in east Jerusalem or the areas in the West Bank where most attacks have occurred.

Rights groups have accused Israeli security forces of using excessive force in some cases, either by killing individuals who could have been arrested or using lethal force when their lives were not in danger.

Saturday's shooting occurred in east Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 war along with the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians want all three territories for their future state.

The Trump plan would allow the Palestinians to establish a capital on the outskirts of the city, beyond Israel's separation barrier. It would grant them limited statehood in a cluster of enclaves surrounded by Israel, but only if they meet a long list of stringent conditions.