Terrorists Open Fire on Israeli Police Officers at Temple Mount in Jerusalem

Terrorists Open Fire on Israeli Police Officers at Temple Mount in Jerusalem

Three gunmen opened fire Friday near a religious site in Jerusalem's Old City, killing two police officers before being shot and killed by Israeli forces.

The attack targeted a historic site on a hilltop that's revered by Muslims, Jews and Christians. Jews know it as the Temple Mount, and for Muslims it's known as the Noble Sanctuary. As NPR's Daniel Estrin reports, "This was a very rare shooting at the religious site that's at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

The attackers ranged in age from 19 to 29. They were from an Arab village in Israel's north and none of them had any record of security offenses, Haaretz reports, citing the Shin Bet security services.

The slain officers have been identified by Israeli police as Kamil Shnaan, 22, and Ha'il Satawi, 30. Both were officers in the border police unit, and Satawi is survived by his wife and their 3-week-old son, police say.

The attack sparked an intense gunfight at the ancient site, parts of which were captured on cellphone video. Earlier in the day, the gunmen had also posted photos of themselves at the complex to social media.

Israeli police have canceled Muslim Friday prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque, in a rare move that's causing some controversy. Many speculate more attacks may happen if the Muslims are prevented from attending their Friday prayers. 

 

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