At around 7 AM on Friday, three Palestinian terrorists finished their prayers in the mosque on the Temple Mount, exited the compound and opened fire on passersby, killing two Druze Israeli policemen and injuring a medic moderately. The terrorists ran back into the Temple Mount after the attack. Israeli police stationed at the Lion’s Gated chased them onto the Temple Mount. The terrorists entered one of the mosques, a firefight ensued, and all three terrorists were killed.
In this video, several Israeli policemen are shown standing next to a prone terrorist who is assumed to be neutralized. The terrorist suddenly jumps up and tries to attack the police, who shoot him.
A video filmed by an Arab shows Israeli Police engaging the terrorists in a firefight on the Temple Mount. Shots are heard while calls of ‘Allahu Akhbar‘ (Allah is greater) are heard on the Mosque’s loudspeakers, Finally, the police are shown surrounding the bodies of the terrorists on the Temple Mount.
A pistol, two Carl Gustav sub-machine guns, and several knives were found on the bodies of the terrorists. It is not known whether the terrorists brought the guns with them or if the weapons were taken from a weapons cache at the mosque. Muslim visitors to the Temple Mount go through a less rigorous security check than Jewish visitors who enter through the Mughrabi Bridge.
All three terrorists had documents identifying them as Israeli citizens, residents of Umm al-Fahmm. Police are checking to see if these documents are authentic.
The Druze police officers were identified as Command Sergeant Major Hayil Satawi and Command Sergeant Major Kamil Shanaan. Satawi left behind a wife and a three-week old son. Shanaan left behind one brother and three sisters.
The Druze have a strong tradition that they are descended from Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses. As such, they have an inheritance in Israel near Jericho. The Druze serve with great distinction in the IDF and, tragically, many Druze have died protecting Israel.
Jerusalem Chief of Police Yoram Halevi has ordered the Temple Mount closed, evacuated, and Friday prayers canceled. This is the first time since 2000 that Muslim Friday prayers on the Temple Mount have been canceled. All gates to the Old City of Jerusalem had been closed.
Osama al-Qawasme, a spokesperson for Palestinian Authority Fatah, decried the Israeli response.
“What is going on at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surroundings is very dangerous and an attempt to exploit what happened to carry out an Israeli plan prepared in advance, similar to what happened in the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron,” he said.