Hamas says target Israelis after Jerusalem site attack

Hamas says target Israelis after Jerusalem site attack

Hamas says target Israelis after Jerusalem site attack

Israeli security forces shot and killed a Palestinian man who opened fire on them early Sunday in the occupied West Bank.

It was gradually reopened on Sunday afternoon, making it the first time Friday prayer was not allowed at Al-Aqsa Mosque since 1969.

"The murderous terror attack at the Temple Mount was stopped by the courageous Israeli policemen who threw themselves in the way, and prevented an even greater disaster", said Rivlin in a statement communicated by his spokesman.

Sources also reported the apprehension of four Palestinian females at Bab al-Asbat (Lions' Gates) in Quds' Old City Walls, without characterizing the nature of the arrests. It is the third holiest site for Muslims after the Mosque which houses the Kaaba in Mecca and the Mosque of Prophet Muhammad in Medina.

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack in a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but also said closing down the area could have repercussions.

The authorities took the highly unusual decision to close the Al Aqsa mosque compound for Friday prayers, leading to anger from Muslims and Jordan, the holy site's custodian.

The PA president rarely condemns attacks on Israelis.

The police then announced the closure of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and prohibition of Friday prayers amid the tensions. Officials said both officers were Druze, members of an Islamic sect which most Muslims consider outside of Islam. The incident left the three dead, along with two Israeli occupation forces.

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"It is time for the Arab leadership in Israel, and even outside it, to express a clear position against this criminal attack".

Police tracked three alleged Palestinian perpetrators to the mosque compound where they subsequently shot and killed them.

In September 2000, Israel's then-opposition leader Ariel Sharon made a provocative visit to the site, sparking Palestinian protests that quickly escalated into armed clashes between Palestinian gunmen and Israeli soldiers.

Crowds chanted "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest) as a number of initial visitors entered Jerusalem's Haram al-Sharif compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.

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