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Secretary-General Condemns Deadly Attack on Israeli Police Officers in Jerusalem

Secretary-General Condemns Deadly Attack on Israeli Police Officers in Jerusalem

The Palestinian Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammad Hussein called on Palestinians to defy the closure, and was later reported to have been detained.

Reports throughout Friday said the two police officers were killed just outside the Temple Mount compound.

AMMAN: A Friday morning exchange of fire in and around Jerusalem's Haram Al-Sharif has escalated tensions in the Old City.

Police say the assailants used a knife, a pistol and two homemade machine guns.

A hail of gunfire could be heard on grainy footage posted on social media.

Al-Aqsa remained closed on Saturday, a day after a deadly shooting attack outside an entrance to the holy site in occupied East Jerusalem.

It was the first closure of the compound in three years and the first time since 2000 that police cancelled Friday prayers, which are usually attended by thousands of Palestinians.

"Israel's response of closing access entirely to Muslims in an attempt to deter further attacks actually exacerbates the crisis". Israeli Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that the shooters, who he identified as terrorists, were "Israeli Arabs from Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel".

The police who were killed were Ha'il Satawi, 30, and Kamil Shanan, 22, both from the Druze minority.

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Israeli policemen check the body of a Palestinian after he was shot dead by Israeli police at the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem al-Quds' Old City July 14, 2017. The narrow alleys around mosque were filled with Israeli police and soldiers.

The site includes the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke to Mr Netanyahu in a rare phone call to discuss the situation in Jerusalem, highlighting the concern about a possible escalation, according to the official Palestinian news agency WAFA. Over the past two years, it has frequently been the site of security incidents and Palestinian attacks on Israelis.

Imam of Al-Aqsa Ekrema Sabri told Anadolu Agency that the Israeli forces are now banning prayer at the mosque.

Hussein was later detained and taken into custody after he began to lead prayers out in the streets nearby.

"Israel and the Jerusalem police, in particular, are complicit in violating the ban on non-Muslim worship on the holy esplanade", he added.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres condemned the attack, adding: "This incident has the potential to ignite further violence".

During the same time, Israeli forces killed more than 254 Palestinians.

Jordan is a controlling force over the Waqf, the Mount's Islamic custodians.


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