Stun grenade hurled at mosque in slain policeman’s hometown
search

Stun grenade hurled at mosque in slain policeman’s hometown

Police suspect Facebook post by resident praising 'martyrs' who carried out Friday's terror attack may have led to incident

A view of Maghar village (CC-BY Sharif Askalla/Wikipedia)
A view of Maghar village (CC-BY Sharif Askalla/Wikipedia)

Unidentified assailants hurled a stun grenade Friday at a mosque in the northern town of Maghar, the home of one of the policemen killed in the Jerusalem terror attack earlier in the day.

No one was hurt in the attack, and police were investigating whether it was connected to the death of officer Haiel Sitawe.

Maghar is a town with a mixed population of Druze, Muslims and Christians. Police suspected that a Facebook post by a female Muslim resident praising the “martyrs” who carried out the terror attack may have led to the incident.

Speaking at Sitawe’s funeral Friday, Police Chief Roni Alsheich called for restraint on all sides, urging “all leaderships of all sectors, communities and ethnic groups not to allow any extreme ideology, any movement or group to disturb the peace.” He added that extremists “will be dealt with severely, as is appropriate for the war on terror. We will not allow them any achievement.”

Sitawe, 30, was buried in Maghar Friday afternoon. The second victim of the attack, Sergeant Master Kamil Shnaan, 22, was laid to rest in the Druze village of Hurfeish, also in northern Israel.

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)

Sitawe joined the Border Police as part of his mandatory national service. He joined the Israel Police in 2012 and had served in the unit responsible for securing the Temple Mount ever since. He leaves behind a wife, Irin, a three-week-old son, his parents and three brothers.

Shnaan joined the police directly after high school. He decided to stay on the police force seven months ago, signing on as a career officer. He was the youngest son of a former Labor Party Knesset member, Shachiv Shnaan. His engagement party to his girlfriend was to be held next week.

Shnaan leaves behind his parents, one brother and three sisters.

Israeli police members carry the coffin of Israeli Druze police officer Kamil Shnaan during his funeral in the northern village of Hurfeish, July 14, 2017. Haiel Sitawe and Kamil Shnaan where killed early on Friday in a shooting attack near the Temple Mount complex in the Old City of Jerusalem. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)
Israeli police members carry the coffin of Israeli Druze police officer Kamil Shnaan during his funeral in the northern village of Hurfeish, July 14, 2017. Haiel Sitawe and Kamil Shnaan where killed early on Friday in a shooting attack near the Temple Mount complex in the Old City of Jerusalem. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

Both Shnaan and Sitawe were posthumously promoted to the rank of master sergeant.

Alsheich hailed Sitawe as “beloved” among his peers.

“Today you went out as head of a patrol, you weren’t even supposed to be this patrol where you found your death but a friend asked for your help and you immediately responded. This is who you were — a true friend…” he said.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan also spoke at the funeral, saying of Sitawe that in his courageous actions, he saved many lives.

At Shnaan’s funeral later in the afternoon, his father told media he raised his son to “love the country, love the life, love the people.”

He said he prayed his son would be “the last victim [of terror] and that people understand that enough is enough.”

Thousands attended the procession.

Alsheich, who also spoke at Shnaan’s funeral, said he too was “loved by everyone,” adding that the two “died defending Jerusalem.”

The police chief said “great grief has descended…on the State of Israel.”

The attack in which Sitawe and Shnaan were killed began just after 7:00 a.m. Friday morning when three Israeli-Arab terrorists opened fire at the officers in an alleyway outside the Temple Mount complex.

The two were critically injured in the attack, later succumbing to their wounds.

The terrorists, all from the Arab city of Umm al-Fahm, fled back to the Temple Mount compound and were shot dead by other police officers on the scene, a police spokesperson said.

The past two years have seen an ongoing wave of Palestinian violence in the West Bank and Israel, though it has waned in recent months.

Since September 2015, mainly Palestinian assailants have killed 43 Israelis, two visiting Americans, a Palestinian man and a British student, mainly in stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks. In that time, some 280 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire, a majority of them attackers, according to authorities.

The Israeli government has blamed the terrorism and violence on incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders compounded by social media accounts that glorify violence and encourage attacks.

Judah Ari Gross and Raoul Wootliff contributed to this report

read more:
comments