World Jewish News
Netanyahu phones Abbas after PA President condemns terror attack in Jerusalem that killed two policemen
Israeli Prime Minister Benjain Netanyahu made it clear that Israel would take all necessary actions to maintain security on the Temple Mount, without changing the status quo, in a phone call Friday with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Netanyahu held a security situation assessment following the terrorist attack near Lions' Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, in which two policemen were killed and a third sustained minor injuries.
Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack on the Temple Mount, the official PA media agency Wafa reported.
“The [PA] president expressed his strong rejection and condemnation of the incident that took place at the holy al-Aksa Mosque,” the Wafa report stated, referring to one of the mosques on the Temple Mount.
“He affirmed his rejection of any violent incident [carried out] by any party, especially in houses of worship.”
The PA president rarely condemns attacks on Israelis.
Police spokeswoman Luba Simri said the terrorists walked toward Lions' Gate and opened fire at the troops, then fled toward the Temple Mount. The troops gave chase, engaged and shot the terrorists dead inside the complex.
She said a knife, a gun and two rifles were found on the terrorists' bodies.
The early morning attack was carried by three Arab-Israelis from the town of Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel.
‘’We cannot allow for agents of murder, who desecrate the name of God, to drag us into a bloody war, and we will deal with a heavy hand against all the arms of terror, and its perpetrators,’’ reacted Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.
“The State of Israel will defend its sovereignty and its citizens with a strong hand, and will not allow anyone to provoke the region into a bloody war,’’ he added.
“It is time for the Arab leadership in Israel, and even outside it, to express a clear position against this criminal attack.”
Following the attack, Israeli security forces evacuated and closed the Temple Mount, effectively canceling Friday prayers at the holy site.
The Israeli-Jewish Congress (IJC), who said the attack must be condemned immidiately and uniquivocally by all, said such attacks ''do not occur in a vacuum.'' ''They are the direct result of an infrastructure of hate and incitement from the Palestinian Authority, elements of the Arab Israeli political leadership and in particular, international bodies like UNESCO, which only acquiesce and inflame the Palestinian campaign of hate, lies and terror against Israel.''