Israeli soldiers kill Jewish man mistaken for 'terrorist'

Jewish Student Shot in Mistaken Identity

JERUSALEM (AP) -- An Israeli soldier shot and killed a Jewish man he suspected was a Palestinian "terrorist" in Jerusalem, police said Thursday, in a reflection of the jittery mood that has gripped Israelis amid a spate of near-daily Palestinian stabbing attacks.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said soldiers deployed in Jerusalem to reinforce police demanded late Wednesday that the man show them his ID. The man refused, scuffled with the soldiers and then attempted to seize one of their weapons. One soldier shot the man, who later died of his wounds, Rosenfeld said.

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"The soldiers had high suspicions that he was a terrorist," he said. Israeli media said the man had asked for the soldiers' IDs first, but Rosenfeld was not able to confirm that detail. He said the incident is under investigation.

The Palestinian attacks have Israelis on edge. When an Arab citizen of Israel opened fire at a bus station in southern Israel on Sunday, killing an Israeli soldier and wounding several people, a private security guard shot an Eritrean migrant he thought was an attacker. As the Eritrean lay on the ground, a mob of people cursed him, kicked him and hit him with objects. He later died of his wounds. Police said the autopsy showed the man died from gunshot wounds and that four suspects would appear in court Thursday over the beating.

See photos from the scene:

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Israeli soldiers kill Jewish man mistaken for 'terrorist'
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Israeli soldiers kill Jewish man mistaken for 'terrorist'
Israeli Zaka volunteers cover the body of a Jewish Israeli man who was shot dead after security forces mistook him for a nationalistically motivated attacker in Jerusalem on October 21, 2015. The Jewish man was shot in central Jerusalem late Wednesday night. He was identified as Jewish by the identification card he carried, Israeli media informed. AFP PHOTO/GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli ultra-orthodox Jews look at the scene where an Israeli man was shot dead in Jerusalem late on October 21, 2015, after security guards accidentally suspected that he was a Palestinian attacker. A private security guard accidentally shot and killed an Israeli man after an altercation in Jerusalem, a police spokesman said. The accident occurred when a passenger getting off a bus got into an argument with two armed guards trying to get on it. AFP PHOTO/ Menahem Kahana (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli security forces look on near the body of an Israeli man shot dead in Jerusalem late on October 21, 2015, after security guards accidentally suspected that he was a Palestinian attacker. A private security guard accidentally shot and killed an Israeli man after an altercation in Jerusalem, a police spokesman said. The accident occurred when a passenger getting off a bus got into an argument with two armed guards trying to get on it. AFP PHOTO/ Menahem Kahana (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli medics carry the covered body of an Israeli man to an ambulance in Jerusalem late on October 21, 2015, after security guards accidentally shot him suspecting that he was a Palestinian attacker. A private security guard accidentally shot and killed an Israeli man after an altercation in Jerusalem, a police spokesman said. The accident occurred when a passenger getting off a bus got into an argument with two armed guards trying to get on it. AFP PHOTO/ Menahem Kahana (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli medics and police stand next to the covered body of an Israeli man in Jerusalem late on October 21, 2015, after security guards accidentally shot him suspecting that he was a Palestinian attacker. A private security guard accidentally shot and killed an Israeli man after an altercation in Jerusalem, a police spokesman said. The accident occurred when a passenger getting off a bus got into an argument with two armed guards trying to get on it. AFP PHOTO/ Menahem Kahana (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli security forces look on near the body of an Israeli man shot dead in Jerusalem late on October 21, 2015, after security guards accidentally suspected that he was a Palestinian attacker. A private security guard accidentally shot and killed an Israeli man after an altercation in Jerusalem, a police spokesman said. The accident occurred when a passenger getting off a bus got into an argument with two armed guards trying to get on it. AFP PHOTO/ Menahem Kahana (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli security hold back crowds as they look at the scene where an Israeli man was shot dead in Jerusalem late on October 21, 2015, after security guards accidentally suspected that he was a Palestinian attacker. A private security guard accidentally shot and killed an Israeli man after an altercation in Jerusalem, a police spokesman said. The accident occurred when a passenger getting off a bus got into an argument with two armed guards trying to get on it. AFP PHOTO/ Menahem Kahana (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli police forensic experts examine the body of a Jewish Israeli man who was shot dead after security forces mistook him for a nationalistically motivated attacker in Jerusalem on October 21, 2015. The Jewish man was shot in central Jerusalem late Wednesday night. He was identified as Jewish by the identification card he carried, Israeli media informed. AFP PHOTO/GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)
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"This is not the Wild West," Israeli opposition legislator Tzipi Livni told Israeli Army Radio. "The suspicion there is now, the fear and the hate lead to brutal and very difficult results."

Israelis have scrambled to purchase pepper spray for self-defense and some government officials have called for citizens to carry firearms for protection. Israel has beefed up security, sending hundreds of soldiers to back up thousands of police officers. Police have erected concrete barriers and checkpoints at the entrance to Arab areas of east Jerusalem, where many of the attackers are from.

The violence has continued unabated. Police say two Palestinians stabbed an Israeli at a bus stop on Thursday after they tried to board a bus ferrying children to school. Police shot the two men, one of whom later died while the other was seriously wounded. Police said the Israeli man was moderately wounded.

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On the Palestinian side, 48 people have been killed, 27 of them identified by Israel as attackers, the others killed in clashes with Israeli forces.

The violence erupted a month ago, fueled by rumors that Israel was plotting to take over a sensitive Jerusalem holy site revered by both Jews and Muslims. The violence was initially confined to traditionally Arab east Jerusalem but soon spread deep into Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians say the violence is rooted in frustration at decades of living under Israeli occupation, while Israel accuses Palestinian leaders of inciting the unrest.

Diplomatic efforts have kicked off in a bid to quell the violence. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders during a visit to the region this week and then offered the Security Council a grim assessment of prospects for defusing the violence.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Germany on Wednesday, where he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and is set to meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry is scheduled to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan this weekend.

RELATED: Photos of the recent Israeli-Palestinian violence

6 PHOTOS
Violence in Israel and the West Bank escalates
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Israeli soldiers kill Jewish man mistaken for 'terrorist'
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - OCTOBER 13: (ISRAEL OUT) In this handout from the Israeli GPO, Ultra Orthodox ZAKA volunteers and security forces attend the scene of an attack at a bus stop in Malchei Yisrael Street on October 13, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel. Multiple terror attacks have occurred in Jerusalem and central Israel leaving at least three Israelis dead and many others injured, escalating a monthlong wave of violence between Israel and the Palestinians. (Photo by Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO via Getty Images)
Israeli Zaka volunteers carry a body following a shooting attack on a bus in an east Jerusalem Jewish settlement adjacent to the Palestinian neighbourhood of Jabal Mukaber on October 13, 2015. Two attackers opened fire on a bus while another assailant carried out a car and knife assault in Jerusalem, leaving two people dead and five wounded in two separate incidents, Israeli authorities said. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX (Photo credit should read THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli Zaka volunteers carry the body of an Israeli victim following a Palestinian shooting attack on a bus in the east Jerusalem Jewish settlement of Armon Hanatsiv, adjacent to the Palestinian neighbourhood of Jabal Mukaber, on October 13, 2015. Two Palestinian attackers opened fire on a bus while another assailant carried out a car and knife assault in Jerusalem, leaving two people dead and five wounded in two separate incidents, Israeli authorities said. AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli security forces inspect the scene after a Palestinian man drove into a bus stop and carried out a stabbing attack in a Jerusalem ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood on October 13, 2015. The Jerusalem attack came after a Palestinian stabbed and wounded a passerby north of Tel Aviv before being restrained by civilians in the area. AFP PHOTO / GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A masked Palestinian hurls rocks towards Israeli soldiers during clashes following the funeral of Mohammed Fares al-Jaabari on October 10, 2015, in the center of the West Bank town of Hebron. Israeli security forces have arrested approximately 400 Palestinians since the October 1 outbreak of violence in the occupied West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem, the Palestinian Prisoner Club said. AFP PHOTO / HAZEM BADER (Photo credit should read HAZEM BADER/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli soldiers detain a wounded Palestinian stone thrower after infiltrated members of the Israeli security forces shot at fellow protesters during clashes in Beit El, on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Ramallah, on October 7, 2015. New violence rocked Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, including a stabbing in annexed east Jerusalem, even as Israel and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas took steps to ease tensions. AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI (Photo credit should read ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
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