Following Friday morning’s deadly shooting attack on the Temple Mount, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Abbas denounced the incident but called for Israel to open the holy site which was closed by police over security concerns.
Two police officers were killed in the shooting, which took place just outside the Temple Mount. The terrorists, three Arab Israelis, fled back to the holy site where they were shot dead after an exchange of fire with police.
After the attack, Jerusalem Police chief Yoram Halevi canceled prayers for the day on the Temple Mount, ordering the complex cleared and the entrances to the holy site closed. Police also placed checkpoints at the entrances to the Old City.
According to a transcript of the phone call between Abbas and Netanyahu on the PA’s official news agency Wafa, Abbas “expressed his strong rejection and condemnation of the incident that took place in Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as his rejection of any violent incidents from any side, especially in places of worship.”
Abbas called on Israel to cancel the measures closing the al-Aqsa Mosque to worshipers, warning of the “repercussions of these measures” or any attempts “to change the religious and historical status of the holy places.”
According to the report, Netanyahu stressed that there will be no change in the status quo and called on all sides to work to calm the situation.
Abbas was also in contact with Jordanian officials to get them to pressure Israel into opening the al Aqsa mosque, the report said.
Jordan acts as the official custodian of the mosque and the Temple Mount area.
Although there has been no official response from the Hashemite kingdom, Jordanian media reported that the government is holding intensive talks with Israel to reopen the site.
The Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammed Hussein, told Maan News that he was prevented from going to site. “”We are determined to reach the Al-Aqsa Mosque and to hold all prayers in it,” he said. He called on Palestinians to come to Jerusalem or to head to the checkpoints near Jerusalem to protest the cancellation of prayers.
Hundreds of Muslims gathered outside the walls of the Old City, behind hastily set up police cordons, to pray and protest the actions of the Israeli police.
— Seth Frantzman (@sfrantzman) July 14, 2017
Israeli Arabs and Palestinians spread the message using social media. Using the hashtag #Go_and_pray_at_alAqsa, they called for the faithful to come to the mosque.
The Director of the Mosque, Sheikh Ahmed Omar al-Kiswani, in a video shared on social media, said Israel was “taking advantage of what happened” at the Temple Mount “to impose a new reality on the ground.”
According to the Shin Bet, all three of the shooters were named Muhammad Jabarin. Muhammad Ahmed Muhammad Jabarin was 29 years old, while Muhammad Hamad Abdel Latif Jabarin and Muhammad Ahmed Mafdal Jabarin were both 19.
A mourning tent was set up by the family outside the home of Muhammad Ahmed Muhammad Jabarin.