Two Israeli police officers shot dead in Jerusalem attack

Cheryl Sanders
July 17, 2017

Israel should not release the bodies of the three Palestinians killed in clashes at Al-Aqsa Mosque yesterday, the family of a soldier held as a prisoner of war urged yesterday.

Israel's police chief says the attackers used weapons stored inside the compound and opened deadly fire on a police patrol.

"I can confirm that the two police officers who were previously in critical condition have died of their wounds in [the] hospital", Rosenfeld told CNN.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem, where the Old City and the holy sites are located, following the 1967 Six-Day War and now claims sovereignty over the entire city - a move that is not recognised by the worldwide community. The gunmen were all shot dead by police.

The sacred site is the third-holiest in Islam and the most sacred for Jews.

President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by phone on Friday and condemned the shooting, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa.

Haiel Sitawe and Kamil Shnaan, the two Israeli border policemen killed on Friday's terrorist attack.

Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh MK, an Israeli Communist Party member, said: "The struggle of Arab citizens is a political struggle and is by no means an armed struggle".

The police who were killed were Ha'il Satawi, 30, and Kamil Shanan, 22, both from the Druze minority. Non-Muslims are allowed to visit the site, but are not allowed to pray.

Following the incident, the Israeli police closed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, briefly detained Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem al-Quds, and canceled Muslim Friday prayers at the site.

The incident occurred near the Temple mount.

The American ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, wrote on Twitter about the attack: "Shocked and horrified by the despicable attack".

"They were then pursued inside the Al Aqsa mosque compound".

The PA president rarely condemns attacks on Israelis.

Israel blames the "terror" on incitement by the Palestinian leadership, but the Palestinian Authority claims Israeli military occupation is the driving force behind the violence.

Other reports by iNewsToday