Two police officers stabbed near Jerusalem’s Temple Mount; attacker shot dead

Both men taken to hospital in moderate condition; footage from the scene appears to show assailant shot while on the ground; Hamas claims 22-year-old stabber as member

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Two police officers were moderately hurt in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday evening, police and medics said.

In a statement, police said an assailant attacked the two officers near an entrance to the Temple Mount, and they responded with gunfire. The alleged Palestinian assailant died of his wounds after being shot.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service said the two men in their 20s were treated at the scene and then taken to the Shaare Zedek and Hadassah Mount Scopus hospitals in the city.

The Hamas terror group claimed the stabber as a member, identifying him as 22-year-old Abd al-Rahman Jamal Qasim, a resident of the Jalazone refugee camp north of Ramallah.

“Struggle leads either to victory or to martyrdom,” Hamas said in a statement circulated in the group’s official media, repeating an oft-used slogan.

Footage from the scene showed the two officers standing over the assailant, who appears to be lying on the ground shortly after the attack. One of the officers then opened fire before standing on top of the alleged attacker while shouting expletives.

Warning: graphic footage

The entrances to the area were closed by police as officers launched an investigation.

Police commissioner Kobi Shabtai said the full video of the attack “shows the officer who was hurt in a difficult way, recovering, closing distance [between him and the attacker] and eliminating the terrorist.”

“The fast response, the determination, the engagement, ended the incident thankfully without any deaths, and with the terrorist dead, this is the end result we expect from an incident like this,” Shabtai added.

In this handout image from police, the knife allegedly used by a Palestinian assailant is seen following an attack in Jerusalem’s Old City on March 7, 2022. (Israel Police)

Monday’s stabbing in Jerusalem comes after two policemen were wounded in a stabbing attack nearby on Sunday morning, with the 19-year-old Palestinian assailant in that incident being shot dead.

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev, who oversees the police, warned in response to Sunday’s attack that “terrorists and extremists will try to set the area on fire” in the coming weeks.

On Monday he repeated that assessment, adding that “a disaster was averted thanks to the [officers’] quick and determined response.”

It also comes after two attacks last week in which two Jewish Israeli men in their 40s were separately stabbed in a store in a West Bank town near Jerusalem under near-identical circumstances. The alleged Palestinian assailant was later arrested.

Israel Police said Monday it was holding a situational assessment after the string of attacks.

Aaron Boxerman contributed to this report. 

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