Family of critically wounded Arab rioter blames Israel, but hospital disagrees

Hospitalized Temple Mount rioter was seen hurling rocks before he fell and was seriously hurt.

By World Israel News Staff

A Palestinian man who was injured on Friday while rioting on the Temple Mount and was caught on camera throwing rocks at security forces is hospitalized in critical condition.

Arabic-language media reported that Walid a-Sharif, 21, was wounded by Israeli police, who they claim shot him in the head with a sponge-tipped bullet.

Currently unconscious, he is suffering from serious brain damage and his condition is deteriorating, his family said.

“He is in a coma, oxygen is not reaching his brain, and he has bleeding on the brain and a skull fracture,” a-Sharif’s brother told Hebrew-language daily Haaretz.

“We are just waiting and only Allah can help him now,” he said.

However, Israeli authorities said that a-Sharif slipped and fell while hurling rocks at Israeli police, striking his head on the ground.

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“There is no evidence of injury from live ammunition,” Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem, where a-Sharif is hospitalized, said in a statement.

Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi, who was a physician before becoming a lawmaker, visited a-Sharif in the hospital.

Tibi told Arabic-language media that a-Sharif is “suffering from widespread brain damage.”

While large-scale Arab violence on the Temple Mount in recent weeks has seen hundreds injured, both during clashes with security forces and “friendly fire” incidents in which people were struck by projectiles thrown by fellow rioters, a-Sharif is the only person to be seriously injured.

With world powers, including the UN and Abraham Accords members UAE and Bahrain, issuing statements condemning Israel for alleged excessive use of force against rioters, a-Sharif potentially dying could spark even more international pressure.

“The police understand that if this wounded Palestinian doesn’t survive, it could worsen the [security] situation in Jerusalem as well as [Israel’s] Arab cities,” commentator Moshe Steinmetz told Kan News.

Although a-Sharif’s face was hidden by a keffiyeh, Israeli police released security footage showing him hurling rocks multiple times during the riot on Friday, alongside people wearing headwraps promoting the Hamas terror group.

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A video taken at the site by a bystander shows a-Sharif lying prone on the ground, though it does not capture the moment he fell.

Israeli police are seen running to evacuate him to the hospital.