Palestinian terror groups praised the deadly shooting attack at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount on Friday, while Palestinian social media was rife with accolades for the killers.
Two Israeli police officers were killed and a third was wounded in the shooting attack, carried out by three Arab Israelis, just outside the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem’s Old City. According to police, the attackers came from the Temple Mount shortly after 7:00 in the morning. They walked toward the Lions Gate exit, then opened fire at the Israelis.
After the shooting, the terrorists fled toward the Temple Mount and police gave chase. The officers then opened fire, shooting the terrorists dead inside the complex.
Sami Abu Zouhri, a senior spokesman for the Hamas terror group, said in a statement on Twitter that “the Jerusalem operation is a natural response to Israeli terrorism and the desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” and insisted that it proves “that the intifada continues and our people are united behind the resistance.”
The Islamic Jihad terror group also praised the “heroic attack.”
Osama al-Qawasme, a spokesperson for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction, slammed Israel’s reaction to the shooting.
“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.
He did not explain what Israel’s plan might be.
“We completely reject this and will not it pass in any way,” he said.
Qawasme called on all “Arab brethren to work immediately in all directions to counter the Israeli scheme.”
Israel Radio reported that a preacher from the mosque had called on all Muslims to come to Jerusalem to defend Al-Aqsa from “Israeli aggression.”
Palestinian media reports on the attack have labeled the terrorists “martyrs.”
The entire Temple Mount was cleared by police, and forces were keeping everyone out, including the Waqf officials who protect the site on behalf of the Jordanian monarchy. Hundreds of Palestinians were gathered outside the compound demanding entry.
Several Waqf officials were detained for questioning.
Judah Ari Gross, Dov Lieber and Jacob Magid contributed to this report.