Israeli forces shot a Palestinian driver dead who crashed his car into a police roadblock, injuring six officers, in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, police said.
The incident on Sunday occurred in Sheikh Jarrah, Israeli occupied East Jerusalem, which is more recently the focus of a court case in which several Palestinian families could be forcefully expelled from their homes claimed by Jewish settlers.
Video obtained by Reuters news agency showed a car slamming at high speed into the roadblock in what police said was a deliberate attack. Police said officers opened fire, killing the driver, whose name was not immediately released.
Abu Ubaida, a spokesman for Gaza’ ruling Hamas group, praised what he described as a “heroic and daring operation” in Sheikh Jarrah.
Hostilities flared up after Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem last week, firing rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas to disperse a sit-in staged in support of Sheikh Jarrah residents.
Hamas began launching rockets on Israel on Monday shortly after an ultimatum it set for Israeli security forces to leave Al-Aqsa expired, prompting an Israeli operation that has so far killed at least 192 people, including 34 women and 58 children.
Israel has reported 10 deaths, including two children. The Jerusalem District Court has ruled that at least six families must vacate their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, despite living there for generations.
The same court ruled seven other families should leave their homes by August 1. In total, 58 people, including 17 children, are set to be forcibly displaced to make way for Jewish settlers.
Israel’s High Court delayed a key hearing last Monday over forced expulsions in Sheikh Jarrah amid growing tensions in East Jerusalem.
At Sheikh Jarrah after nightfall on Sunday, police brought a mobile crane to winch concrete barriers into place, blocking the entrance to the potential eviction site and an adjacent tomb reputed to be the burial place of Simon the Just, an ancient Jewish high priest.
Israel captured East Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of 1967 and annexed it in a move that has been condemned by the international community. East Jerusalem is among the territories that Palestinians have been given by international resolutions. On the other hand, Israel deems all of Jerusalem as its capital – a status with limited recognition abroad.