US, UN officials condemn deadly Temple Mount shooting
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Israel to reevaluate security arrangements at holy site

US, UN officials condemn deadly Temple Mount shooting

US shocked at 'despicable' attack; 'All must take a stand against terror,' UN envoy Mladenov says

Raphael Ahren is the diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

File: US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman at a ceremony for new ambassadors at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on May 16, 2017. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Pool/Flash90)
File: US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman at a ceremony for new ambassadors at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on May 16, 2017. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Pool/Flash90)

Western diplomats reacted with shock and outrage to Friday’s deadly terror attack at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City, with senior officials from the United Nations and the US issuing condemnations.

“Shocked at #Jerusalem attack today,” UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov tweeted, minutes after the shooting attack occurred. “Places for worship are for prayer, not for violence. All must take a stand against #terror & condemn it.”

The American ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, also took to Twitter, saying: “Shocked and horrified by the despicable attack.” He added: “Terrorism must be condemned by all and defeated. We pray for the victims.”

The US Consulate General in Jerusalem, which represents the US administration to the Palestinian Authority, condemned the shooting, calling it a “horrific and violent act.” In a second tweet, the consulate added: “Terrorism is unacceptable. Holy sites must be protected.”

At around 7:00 a.m., the attackers walked from the Temple Mount compound toward the Lions Gate exit of the Old City, then opened fire at a group of Israeli police officers, according to police. Two officers were critically wounded and later died of their wounds. A third was lightly hurt. After the shooting, the terrorists fled back toward the Temple Mount and police gave chase. The officers then opened fire, shooting the terrorists dead inside the complex.

Israeli politicians from across the spectrum also condemned the attack. But while some urged the government to lift the decade-old ban on Jewish prayer at the site, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was committed to the status quo at the holy site.

Master Sgt. Kamil Shnaan, left, and Master Sgt. Haiel Sitawe, right, the police officers killed in the terror attack next to the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem on July 14, 2017. (Israel Police)
Master Sgt. Kamil Shnaan, left, and Master Sgt. Haiel Sitawe, right, the police officers killed in the terror attack next to the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem on July 14, 2017. (Israel Police)

Israel did, however, cancel Friday prayers at the Temple Mount for the first time years.

“Today’s terror attack was an extremely severe event which crossed all red lines,” Public Security Minister Erdan said Friday morning. “The investigation is ongoing. We will need to reevaluate all of the security arrangements on the Temple Mount and its environs.”

Three Arab Israelis named by the Shin Bet as responsible for shooting dead two Israeli police officers next to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on July 14, 2017: Muhammad Ahmed Muhammad Jabarin, 29; Muhammad Hamad Abdel Latif Jabarin, 19 and Muhammad Ahmed Mafdal Jabarin, 19. (Channel 2 composite screenshot)
Three Arab Israelis named by the Shin Bet as responsible for shooting dead two Israeli police officers next to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on July 14, 2017: Muhammad Ahmed Muhammad Jabarin, 29; Muhammad Hamad Abdel Latif Jabarin, 19 and Muhammad Ahmed Mafdal Jabarin, 19. (Channel 2 composite screenshot)
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