Israeli police kill Palestinian suspected of shooting far-right Jew

JERUSALEM - Israeli police shot dead a Palestinian on Thursday after he fired at them resisting arrest in East Jerusalem hours after the attempted assassination of a far-right Israeli activist, police said.

"Anti-terrorist police units surrounded a house in the Abu Tor neighborhood to arrest a suspect in the attempted assassination of Yehuda Glick, immediately upon arrival they were shot at. They returned fire and shot and killed the suspect," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

An official Hamas web site identified man who was killed as Moataz Hejazi, 32, who had spent 11 years in an Israeli jail and was released in 2012.

Glick was shot and severely wounded in Jerusalem on Wednesday as he left a conference promoting a Jewish campaign to permit praying at a compound in the Old City that has become a flashpoint as both Jews and Muslims regard it as a holy site, Israeli officials said.

The site known to Jews as Temple Mount and to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary is an elevated marble and stone compound. It is the third-most sacred site in Islam and the holiest in Judaism, where two ancient Jewish temples once stood.

It contains the 8th century al-Aqsa mosque and the golden Dome of the Rock, where the Prophet Mohammad is said to have ascended to heaven.

Police took the rare step of shutting the compound to all worshippers and visitors until further notice, after far-right Israeli activists urged adherents to go to the site en masse in response to the shooting.

There was a heavy police deployment in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, adjacent to the Old City, and a helicopter circled overhead.

Tension has risen steadily in the eastern side of Jerusalem since just before a Gaza war that ended in August, with almost nightly clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters throwing rocks and petrol bombs.

A major focus of Palestinian anger in the past few weeks has been Jewish settlers moving into largely Arab neighbourhoods and increasing numbers of visits by Orthodox Jews, including some politicians, accompanied by Israeli police to the sacred compound in the Old City.