Two Israeli police officers killed in Jerusalem holy site attack

Two Israeli police officers were killed Friday when three gunmen stormed into Jerusalem’s Old City in what officials called a terror attack.

The gunmen started attacking near the Lions’ Gate of the Old City at 7 a.m. local time, according to reports.

The area is one of the holiest sites in Israel, home to prominent Jewish and Muslim monuments.

One of the attackers tried to stab a cop, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told CNN. They were shot and killed at the scene.

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The two officers — Hail Stai, 30, and Kaamil Snaan, 22 — were rushed to a hospital where they later died of their injuries, Rosenfeld later tweeted.

He described the attackers to CNN as “terrorists” and Arab citizens of Israel who came from Umm al-Fahm — a northern city of 52,500 that borders the West Bank.

Israeli police released photos of two guns and a folding knife used in the attack.

Footage of the attack shows Israeli officers shooting one assailant multiple times as he drops to the ground.

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The holy site — referred to as the Noble Sanctuary by Muslims and Temple Mount by Jews — was closed Friday as police comb it for more weapons.

Officials closed the holy site in wake of the attack.

(ATEF SAFADI/EPA)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the status quo at the Muslim-run area “will be preserved.”

He had a rare phone call with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas in which they discussed possibly escalating violence.

Abbas also condemned “any violence from any party, particularly at holy sites.”

It’s rare for an attack to happen within this part of the Old City. It is home to the Western Wall, a major Jewish site, and Dome of the Rock — the holiest Muslim shrine outside Saudi Arabia. 

With News Wire Services

Tags:
israeli-palestinian conflict
terrorism
benjamin netanyahu
mahmoud abbas
religion

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