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2017 Temple Mount shooting

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2017 Temple Mount shooting
Part of 2017 Temple Mount crisis and Israeli–Palestinian conflict
2017 Temple Mount shooting is located in Jerusalem
2017 Temple Mount shooting
Map of the Old City of Jerusalem
Location Jerusalem
Coordinates 31°46′51″N 35°14′13″E / 31.78083°N 35.23694°E / 31.78083; 35.23694Coordinates: 31°46′51″N 35°14′13″E / 31.78083°N 35.23694°E / 31.78083; 35.23694
Date 14 July 2017 (2017-07-14)
Shortly after 7:00 (UTC+03:00)
Target Israeli Border Police
Attack type
Mass shooting
Weapons 2 submachine guns, 1 handgun
Deaths 5 (2 police officers, 3 attackers)[1]
Non-fatal injuries
2
Perpetrators Three Arab-Israelis, affiliated with the Islamic Movement in Israel

On 14 July 2017, three Arab-Israeli men left the Temple Mount (also known as the Noble Sanctuary), and opened fire on Israeli border police officers stationed near the Temple mount gate of the tribes which is near to the Lions' Gate. Two Israeli border police officers were killed and two more were injured in the attack. All three attackers were shot and killed by Israeli police after fleeing back into the complex.[2][3]

Background

Prior to the shooting, there had been three attacks in Jerusalem in 2017. A January 8 truck attack that killed four Israeli soldiers and injured 17, an April 14 stabbing on the Jerusalem Light Rail that killed 1 and injured 2, and a June 16 attack targeting Israeli police that killed one female officer and injured four.

Attack

Shortly after 07:00 in the morning on 14 July 2017,[4] three gunmen armed with improvised "carlo" submachine guns and a handgun, ran out of the Temple Mount via the gate of the tribes (near the Lions' Gate) and shot at Israeli Border Police officers stationed in the street outside.[2][5][6] The three attackers fled back to the square in front of one of the mosques on the temple mount and were shot by Israeli police officers.[7] After being shot, one of the attackers who was believed to be dead, rose up from the ground and attempted to attack police officers but was shot before he could,[8] shouting as he got up "I'm from Raed Salah's group".[9] Two Israeli border police officers were critically wounded and died later, and another two were moderately wounded in the attack.[10]

Attackers

The three attackers were Arab Israeli citizens from the city of Umm al-Fahm. They were identified as Mohammed Ahmed Mafdal Jabrin and Mohammed Hamed Abed Eltif Jabrin, both of whom were 19 years old, as well as 29 year old Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed Jabrin who worked as a Muezzin in a local mosque.[11][12] Two of the attackers posted pictures of themselves smiling in front of the al-Aqsa mosque on Facebook three hours before the attack with the caption "tomorrow's smile will be wider" and "praise to Allah, and enough".[13] The attackers hid the weapons used for the attack in the square at the Temple Mount a few days prior to the attack, with the assistance of a member of the Waqf.[14]

The perpetrators and the mosque they prayed in were identified by Israeli authorities as belonging to the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel.[15]

Victims

Haiel Sitawe (left) and Kamil Shnaan

The two border police officers who died in the attack were identified as Haiel Sitawe and Kamil Shnaan. Both of them were Israeli Druze and hailed from the Northern Galilee region. Sitawe, 30 years old, lived in the village of Maghar, and Shnaan, 22 years old, lived in the village of Hurfeish.[16] Sitawe had joined the Border Police as part of his mandatory national service in 2012 and had served at Temple Mount since then. Shnaan joined it after high school and signed on as a career officer seven months before the attack. He was the youngest son of Israeli Labor Party's former Knesset member Shachiv Shnaan.[16]

Aftermath

Israeli police officers at the Mount after the attack
Muslims praying at the entrance to the Temple Mount at the Tribal Gate, July 16, 2017

Jerusalem

Israeli authorities shut down the Temple Mount complex, and for the first time in years, Friday prayers at the al-Aqsa mosque were canceled.[17] The old city was also closed to traffic.[4] The al-Aqsa mosque was raided by Israeli authorities and Jerusalem Islamic Waqf personnel were questioned.[18] The Israeli police said they found additional weapons in the raid, including mock guns, knives, clubs, chains, and other weapons.[19] Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, called on Muslims to march to al-Aqsa and hold Friday prayers wherever they are stopped.[20] The Grand Mufti was detained by Israeli security officers following his call for Muslims to defy the closure.[21]

On the 16 July, Israeli authorities reopened the Temple Mount, after placing metal detectors at the entrances to the compound, under protest from the site's Waqf authorities. A crisis spiraled leading to a weeklong stand-off, during which Israeli security agencies such as Shin Bet recommended their removal.[22] The Waqf called on Muslims to protest outside of the compound instead of entering, with around 200 Muslims protesting outside on the 16th. Israeli authorities also announced the installation of security cameras outside the compound.[23] Although the compound was reopened for Muslim access, Israeli police prevented Jews from entering the Temple mount complex under directions from Prime Minister Netanyahu.[24] Clashes erupted outside the Temple mount later that day after a group of Palestinians attempted to enter with a casket containing a body.[25] Jews were allowed in on the morning of the 17 July.[26] Further clashes occurred on the night of the 17th, and Fatah called on the 18th for a "day of rage" in protest of the new security arrangements.[27]

Palestinians protesting against new security measures had clashed with Israeli security forces outside the gates to the al-Aqsa compound for several days and on Friday, 21 July 2017. Three Palestinians were killed, one of them a 17-year old from Silwan. Details regarding his death vary; the Ma'an news agency reports that he was shot by a settler,[28] a report not confirmed by other sources, which confirm only that he was killed in Ras al-Amud.[29] On the same day, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ordered the suspension of all official contact with Israel until it removed the new security measures.[30]

Umm al-Fahm

Several hours after the attack, a wake and symbolic funeral with hundreds of attendees was held for the attackers in the Al-Porkan mosque in Umm al-Fahm, which is affiliated with the Islamic Movement in Israel and in which the attackers prayed, in which the attackers were praised and called Shahids.[31]

Following a ruling by the supreme court on the 25 of July, the attackers' bodies were released to their families on the night of the 26th of July. In a show of support for the attackers, some 10,000 people marched in the funeral processing in Umm al-Fahm, praising the attack and calling the attackers heroes and shahids.[32][33]

Raed Salah was arrested and charged for his alleged incitement for terror.[9]

Three residents of Umm al-Fahm were indicted in September 2017 for allegedly planning a copy cat attack on the Temple Mount, after they had allegedly failed to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.[34]

Maghar

Maghar is mixed Druze-Muslim town. Following a Facebook post supporting the terror attack by a Muslim resident of Maghar, the hometown of one of the victims, two mosques in the village were attacked in two separate incidents on the nights of 14 and 16 July with stun grenades and gunfire resulting in minor property damage.[35][36][37] Israeli Police were on the scene of the attacks within minutes, where they gathered evidence and opened an investigation.[38]

Elsewhere

In the evening of 21 July, 3 Israelis were murdered and one severely wounded when a 19-year old Palestinian youth, Omar al-Abed, from the village of Kobar, penetrated a home in the Israeli settlement of Halamish/Neve Tzuf and carried out an assault by stabbing members of the family. Shortly before, al-Abed had written on Facebook that he was upset by the murdering of Palestinian women and children, and the desecration of the al-Aqsa Mosque.[39][40][41][42]

On the afternoon of July 23, Mohammed Zakaria al-Jawawdeh a 17-year-old Palestinian from Amman, stabbed an Israeli embassy guard in the stomach with a screwdriver. The guard shot al-Jawawdeh in self-defence. A stray bullet accidentally injured the Jordanian building owner, he later succumbed to his wounds.[43] Jordanian authorities had prevented the guard's departure from Amman but eventually allowed him to return which led to speculation that there had been an agreement between the Jordanian and Israeli governments that in exchange for the guard's return, the metal detectors at the al-Aqsa compound would be removed.[44][45][46][47][48][49]

On Monday morning, 24 July, a Palestinian man from Qalqiliya stabbed a 32 year old Arab Israeli in Petah Tikva. A worker at a nearby pizza restaurant struck the attacker with a pizza tray. He was later arrested and said he did it for al-Aqsa, in reference to the new security measures.[50]

Reactions

Regional
  •  Israel - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was "a sad day in which our Druze brothers pay the heaviest price in our joint mission to protect the security of our country. I salute them and their heroism."[51] Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said: "The State of Israel will continue to fight resolutely, forcefully and uncompromisingly against the terrorists, their dispatchers, and those who incite them. I applaud our security forces in their courageous daily struggle against terrorism and mourn the death of the officers who fell in the attack."[52]
  •  Jordan - The spokesman for the Jordanian government condemned Israel's closure of the temple mount and the al-Aqsa mosque and called on them to reopen it immediately.[53] Subsequently, following criticism from Israel for not doing so, King Abdullah II condemned the attack, called for calm, and reopening of the Temple Mount.[54] On July 16 the Parliament of Jordan criticized the Temple Mount closure and held a prayer service in honor of the attackers. Atef Tarawneh, the Speaker of the Jordanian Parliament praised the attackers, calling them "martyrs who were defending Palestinians", while also blaming "Israeli occupation" as the reason for the attack.[55]
  •  Palestine - President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack in a call with Prime Minister of Israel and issued condolences.[56]
  • Hamas - Sami Abu Zouhri, a senior spokesman for Hamas, praised the attack and Hamas state television called it a "heroic act".[57][58]
  • Islamic Jihad - The Islamic Jihad called the attack 'heroic' in an emailed statement to press.[57]
  •  United States - The White House issued a statement following the attack saying “The people of the United States strongly condemn the terror attack,” as well as supporting the Israeli decision to temporarily close the Temple Mount.[59]

Media coverage

According to Ynet, the breaking news report from Al-Jazeera reported only on the shooting of the attackers and not the incident itself.[60] Donald Trump Jr. criticized BBC on Twitter for the way they headlined the attack.[61]

See also

References

  1. ^ "WATCH: Police chief confirms two officers killed in Temple Mount shooting". Retrieved 14 July 2017. 
  2. ^ a b ISRAEL MOURNS POLICE OFFICERS KILLED IN FRIDAY'S TEMPLE MOUNT ATTACK, 14 July 2017, JPost
  3. ^ Jpost.com Staff (July 14, 2017). "Video: Footage emerges of shooting attack at Temple Mount". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  4. ^ a b Ari Gross, Judah (July 14, 2017). "WATCH: Three wounded, two critically, in shooting terror attack at Temple Mount". Times of Israel. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Two policemen killed in terror attack at Lions' Gate in Jerusalem, attackers dead". Ynetnews. July 14, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  6. ^ Lubell, Maayan (July 16, 2017). "Two Israeli policemen shot dead near Jerusalem holy site, gunmen killed". Reuters. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Two Israeli police killed in Jerusalem attack". Sky News Australia. Reuters. July 14, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  8. ^ Ben Simon, Elisha; Friedson, Yael (July 14, 2017). "Documentation from the Temple Mount compound: The "neutralized" terrorist rose, tried to hit the policemen - and was killed". Ynet (in Hebrew). Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b Moments Before he Was Killed: Temple Mount Terrorist Shouted "I'm from Raed Salah's group", Walla, 24 August 2017
  10. ^ Hagay Hacohen (July 14, 2017). "Israel Police confirms two officers killed in Friday Temple Mount attack". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  11. ^ "Allowed to be published: The terrorists on the Temple Mount are Israeli Arabs living in Umm al-Fahm". Ynet (in Hebrew). July 14, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  12. ^ Netanyahu orders mourning huts to be dismantled in Umm al-Fahm, Ha'aretz, 14 July 2017
  13. ^ Levy, Elior (July 14, 2017). "The terrorists posted a post to Facebook before the attack: "The smile tomorrow will be more beautiful"". Ynet (in Hebrew). Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  14. ^ Eli, Yossi; Simantov, Hezi; Vardi, Moab (July 15, 2017). "After it was closed due to the attack: The Temple Mount will be opened today gradually for worshipers". Nana 10 (in Hebrew). Retrieved July 15, 2017. 
  15. ^ Sheikh Raed Salah Charged with Incitement to Terror, Haaretz, 24 August 2017
  16. ^ a b Ari Gross, Judah (July 14, 2017). "Haiel Sitawe, 30, and Kamil Shnaan, 22, named as officers slain at Temple Mount". Times of Israel. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  17. ^ Hasson, Nir; Ravid, Barak; Khoury, Jack (14 July 2017). "Two Police Officers Wounded in Temple Mount Shooting Die of Their Wounds". Retrieved 14 July 2017 – via Haaretz. 
  18. ^ Security raid in Temple Mount: Waqf personnel questioned, YNET, 14 July 2017
  19. ^ Knives and Chains: Weapons found on Temple Mount, Channel 10 news, 16 July 2017
  20. ^ Jerusalem Mufti: "Go to the blockades, and hold Friday prayers, YNET, 14 July 2017
  21. ^ Mitnick, Joshua (July 14, 2017). "Jerusalem holy site shuttered after deadly Temple Mount attack". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  22. ^ Isabel Kershner, 'Deadly Violence Erupts in Standoff Over Mosque in Jerusalem,' New York Times 21 July 2017
  23. ^ MUSLIM AUTHORITY PROTESTS TEMPLE MOUNT SECURITY MEASURES, BLOCKS ENTRANCE, JPost, 16 July 2017
  24. ^ Two days after terror attack: Temple mount opens for Muslims, but not for Jews, NRG, 16 July 2017
  25. ^ Clashes Erupt on Temple Mount as Palestinians Attempt to Enter With Casket, Haaretz, Nir Hasson, 16 July 2017
  26. ^ In the shadow of the Muslim protest: Jews are allowed into the Temple mount for the first time since the attack, Walla, 17 July 2017
  27. ^ Fatah calls for ‘Day of Rage’ amid new Temple Mount security in wake of attack, Times of Israel, 18 July 2017
  28. ^ '3 Palestinians killed in Al-Aqsa clashes in Jerusalem, West Bank,' related Ma'an News Agency 21 July 2017
  29. ^ "Body of Palestinian killed in clashes smuggled out of hospital". Times of Israel. 21 July 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2017. 
  30. ^ "ABBAS: PALESTINIANS TO SUSPEND OFFICIAL CONTACTS WITH ISRAEL". Jerusalem Post. July 22, 2017. Retrieved July 22, 2017. 
  31. ^ Without Condemnation or Reservation - documentation: Wake Ceremony for Terrorist in Umm al-Fahm, Channel 10 news, 16 July 2017
  32. ^ Umm al-Fahm: Thousands participated in funeral of temple mount terrorists - "Sahids", YNET, 27 July 2017
  33. ^ Thousands participated tonight in funeral of three who carried out temple mount terrorist attack, Ha'aretz, 27 July 2017
  34. ^ Shin-Bet: We stopped three Umm al-Fahm on suspicion of planning a terror attack in the Temple Mount, Ha'aretz, Amos Harel and Noa Spiegel, 28 Sep 2017
  35. ^ Again: Stun grenade and gunfire at mosques in the village of the policeman killed in terror attack, Walla, 17 July 2017
  36. ^ "Incitement between Druze and Muslims": Grenades and gunfire in village where murdered policeman lived, YNet, 17 July 2017
  37. ^ In response to an Facebook status endorsing the terrorist attack: Stun grenade thrown at Mosque in Maghar, YNET, 15 July 2017
  38. ^ Winer, Stuart (July 17, 2017). "Mosques in slain policeman's village targeted again". Times of Israel. Retrieved July 21, 2017. 
  39. ^ 'Palestinian shot, detained after killing 3 Israelis in settlement stabbing attack,' Ma'an News Agency July 21, 2017
  40. ^ 'West Bank terror: A killer's last testament on Facebook,' Jerusalem Post 21 July 2017
  41. ^ 'Hamalish terrorist knocked and the family let him in,' The Times of Israel 21 July 2017
  42. ^ 'Report: Stabbing attack in Hamalish near Ramallah,' Jerusalem Post, 21 July 2017.
  43. ^ "Guard kills Jordanian attacker, bystander at Israeli embassy in Amman". 24 July 2017. 
  44. ^ Laub, Karin; Deitch, Ian (July 24, 2017). "Israel removes metal detectors from holy site entrance". ABC News. Associated Press. Retrieved July 24, 2017. 
  45. ^ Ravid, Barak (July 24, 2017). "Israel-Jordan Embassy Crisis Ends: Diplomats Evacuated, Cross Border Into Israel". Haaretz. Retrieved July 24, 2017. 
  46. ^ "Israel removes Jerusalem metal detectors after cabinet vote". BBC News. July 25, 2017. Retrieved July 24, 2017. 
  47. ^ Ravid, Barak (July 24, 2017). "Jordan's King Abdullah to Netanyahu: Remove Metal Detectors From Temple Mount". Haaretz. Retrieved July 24, 2017. 
  48. ^ Jeremy Bob, Yonah (July 24, 2017). "MOSSAD AGENT FROM PAST JORDAN OP SUGGESTS SOLUTION TO AMMAN EMBASSY CRISIS". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved July 24, 2017. 
  49. ^ "Israeli security guard stabbed in attack at Israel's Jordan embassy". 
  50. ^ Eisenbud, Daniel (July 24, 2017). "PALESTINIAN TERRORIST FROM WEST BANK STABS ARAB-ISRAELI IN PETAH TIKVA". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved July 24, 2017. 
  51. ^ "Israeli police killed in Jerusalem attack". 14 July 2017 – via www.bbc.com. 
  52. ^ "Defense Minister Lieberman condemns Temple Mount attack". 14 July 2017. 
  53. ^ Israel, Jordan Trade Barbs in Wake of Temple Mount Attack, Haaretz, 14 July 2017, Barak Ravid
  54. ^ JORDAN’S KING ABDULLAH CALLS FOR CALM AFTER TEMPLE MOUNT ATTACK, JPost, 16 July 2017
  55. ^ Jordanian parliament praises Temple Mount terrorists, Times of Israel, 16 July 2017
  56. ^ Ravid, Barak; Khoury, Jack; Hasson, Nir (14 July 2017). "Netanyahu Tells Abbas Deadly Temple Mount Shooting Won't Disturb Status Quo". Haaretz. Retrieved 14 July 2017. 
  57. ^ a b "Hamas, Islamic Jihad lavish praise on 'heroic' Temple Mount shooting". Retrieved 14 July 2017. 
  58. ^ Whitman, Ariel; Hacohen, Hagay; Kranish, Shoshana (July 14, 2017). "Terror Attack on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, 2 Israeli Police Killed". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  59. ^ "US backs Israel's closure of Temple Mount, calls for patience". Times of Israel. July 15, 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2017. 
  60. ^ "Al Jazeera fails to mention attack as it reports on 'three killed Palestinians'". Retrieved 14 July 2017. 
  61. ^ "Donald Trump, Jr., Upset Over Coverage of Deadly Jerusalem Shooting". The Forward.