Tuesday, 24 October, 2017

Hamas urges Palestinians to target Israelis after attack closes Jerusalem holy site

Medics treat victims of a shooting attack on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City Medics treat victims of a shooting attack on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City
Sammy Stanley | 16 July, 2017, 06:26

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the compound was shut for security reasons, noting that the status quo would be "preserved".

Bassam Al Halaq, a senior official of Awqaf, an Islamic authority in charge of Al-Aqsa, told Al Jazeera that the Israeli police were searching the entire compound, breaking through doors.

None of the statements mentioned the reason for Israel's rare temporary closure of the Temple Mount.

Videos circulating on social media showed a hail of gunfire ring out in what seemed to be an exchange of bullets between Israeli security forces and the assailants.

The spokesman of the islamist movement Hamas, Sami Abu Zohri, said that the attack was "a natural response to the terrorism of the zionist and the desecration of Al-Aqsa mosque".

Netanyahu signalled later in the day that the site would remain closed until at least Sunday. The Israeli decision came in the wake of a shooting attack that left three Palestinians and two Israeli officers killed on Friday morning.

Police identified the attackers as Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed Jabarin, 29, Mohamed Hamad Abdel Atif Jabarin, 19, and Mohammed Ahmed Mufdal Jabarin, 19.

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The protest in Amman followed a demonstration on Friday outside the Israeli consulate in Istanbul, in which dozens of people waved Turkish and Palestinian flags and called Israel "cursed", Channel 2 reported.

"The construction in Jerusalem is necessary and important", Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat, stressed, adding that "the work will strongly continue in order to get as numerous Jewish youths to live in Israel's capital as possible".

The police who were killed were Ha'il Satawi, 30, and Kamil Shanan, 22, both from the Druze minority.

Over 300 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli force since October that year, when the clashes intensified. The Israeli ambulance service said a third policeman had been lightly wounded in the incident. Tens of thousands of faithful typically pray at a major shrine in the Old City, revered by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount.

He spoke after three Arab citizens of Israel opened fire on police near one of the holiest sites in Jerusalem.

The grand mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, the city's highest Islamic authority, condemned the closure of the mosque compound for prayers.

The attack happened shortly after 7 a.m. near Lions' Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, according to NPR.

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