Two Israeli Druze policemen were murdered and a third was lightly wounded in a terror attack on Friday morning when three Muslim terrorists opened fire at Police forces at the Lions’ Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City. The three terrorists were shot and eliminated by police.
The three terrorists arrived at the Temple Mount armed with two Carl Gustav rifles and a handgun. As they approached the Lions’ Gate, they noticed Israel Police officers and opened fired.
The Muslim terrorists then fled towards the mosques in the Temple Mount complex, with police in pursuit. They were shot and eliminated on the spot.
Two of the policemen, Ha’il Satawi and Kamil Shnaan, were taken to the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus in critical condition, where they succumbed to their wounds. The third policeman, 39, was hurt from shrapnel and was taken to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in the capital in light condition.
Ha’il Satawi, 30, from Maghar, was in the Border Police during his army service and in 2012 enlisted as a patrol officer at the Border Police’s Temple Mount Unit. He is survived by his wife, three-weeks-old son, parents and three siblings.
Kamil Shnaan, 22, from Hurfeish, started serving as a patrol officer in the same unit seven months ago. He was the son of former MK Shachiv Shnaan. He is survived by his parents, one brother and three sisters.
The three Muslim terrorists were identified as Israeli Arab citizens from the terror nest of Umm al-Fahm: Muhammad Ahmad Muhammad Jabarin, 29, Muhammad Hamed Abed al-Atif Jabarin, 19, and Muhammad Ahmad Mafdel Jabarin, 19. The terrorists have no previous history of security related offenses, according to the Shin Bet.
The Shin Bet and the Israel Police are investigating the terror attack and a gag order has been put on all details relating to the investigation.
Three hours before the attack, two of the terrorists posted a photo of theirs on Facebook with the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the background and wrote: “The smile will be more beautiful tomorrow.” An hour before the terror attack, one of them wrote: “Thank allah and enough.”
Following the terror attack, the Temple Mount complex was cleared of visitors and all of its entry gates were closed to allow security forces to search the site for additional weapons. The Jerusalem Police district commander announced Friday prayers will not be held on the Temple Mount.
Israeli security forces set up barricades to prevent entry to the Temple Mount and stopped several senior Muslim figures, including the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Hussein, from entering the complex.
The mufti called on Muslims to arrive at the barricades and hold Friday prayers there. “There isn’t a force on earth that would prevent them from getting to al-Aqsa and holding Friday prayers,” he said.
Police detained for questioning guards of the Islamic Waqf, the Jordanian body in charge of the Temple Mount, who were at the complex during the attack. According to the Islamic Waqf Authority, police also confiscated the guards’ cellphones.
Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh, who arrived at the site of the attack, was briefed by Jerusalem District Police Commander Yoram HaLevy on the initial findings of the investigation into the terror attack.
Following the attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Yoav Mordechai.
The prime minister and the leadership of the defense establishment decided to keep the Temple Mount complex closed for the day, search the area to ensure there are no other weapons hidden there, and maintain the status quo.
“I want to send my deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the criminal terror attack today on the Temple Mount,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
“This is a sad day in which our Druze brothers are paying the heaviest price in our shared mission to defending the security of our country. I salute them and their heroism.”