One of the three men who carried out a deadly terror attack Friday morning at the Temple Mount posted on Facebook shortly before the shooting, saying “Tomorrow’s smile will be more beautiful, God willing.”
The text was accompanied by a selfie of two of the attackers — Arab Israelis who could not immediately be named in Israeli media under a Shin Bet gag order — showing them standing in front of the Dome of the Rock shrine at the holy site.
The post was published at around 7:00 a.m., moments before the attack.
Despite the gag order, the names and pictures of the assailants have been published widely on Palestinian social media.
The Facebook selfie garnered nearly two thousand likes and a thousand comments within three hours, the vast majority of which praised the attack.
Other pictures and videos from the attackers’ Facebook page showed intense interest in the Temple Mount and the Muslim holy sites located there.
One post from July 2016 shows a picture of the leader of the banned Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, Raed Salah, next to the Temple Mount.
The post reads: “Every year and the Al Aqsa Mosque is closer to freedom.”
Salah, who has been in and out of jail for incitement, often propagates the idea the Israel is threatening to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The preacher was once the mayor of the Arab-Israeli town of Umm el-Fahm and is still based there.
Pictures from the attacker’s Facebook also indicate he was a boxer.
Two Israelis police officers were killed and one was lightly wounded in the shooting attack on Friday morning, police said.
Watch:Terrorist is neutralized? Lying as if he was dead at Al-Aqsa Mosque, stands up and tries to escape, was shot and killed pic.twitter.com/Ks9WBcOMXx
— אלי שלזינגר (@EliShlezinger) July 14, 2017
The attackers opened fire from the Temple Mount, then ran back into the holy site, where pursuing police shot them dead.
Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri praised the attack.
“The Jerusalem operation is a natural response to the Israeli terrorism and desecration of the Al-Aqsa mosque. It confirms that the intifada continues and that our people are united behind the resistance,” he wrote.
Following the attack, Israel security forces closed the site and erected checkpoints around the Old City.