Published: Sun, July 16, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

White House condemns Temple Mount attack, 'applauds' Israel's response


Another Jewish Home MK, Moti Yegev, said the holy site "should be closed to Muslim [worshippers] for a long time".

Arab Israelis are descendants of Palestinians who remained on their land following the creation of Israel in 1948.

Police recovered two locally made automatic rifles, a pistol and a knife, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.

Israeli authorities then shut the compound down citing security concerns, just hours before Muslim Friday prayers.

Israel has closed the site for further weapons sweeps.

Police chased the attackers into the site and shot them dead. "Whatever happened shouldn't be used as an excuse to prevent people from access to and worshipping in their holy site".

The victims were in the patrol unit of the border police on the Temple mount.

Egypt's embattled Muslim Brotherhood group has condemned two deadly attacks that left seven people dead, including two foreigners.

The fighting inside the complex was one of the worst incidents of violence on the Temple Mount in years.

Israel rejected the Jordanian demand to immediately reopen the site and criticized Amman, with one unnamed official telling Israeli TV that "instead of condemning the attack, Jordan chose to attack Israel, which is protecting worshipers and maintaining freedom of worship in the place".

Reuters video footage showed the mufti being escorted away by a man in plain clothes through a crowd of Palestinians gathered near the compound gate.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone following Friday's attack near an ultra-sensitive holy site that killed two Israeli police, with three Palestinian assailants also shot dead.

"This can have much broader impact because defending Al-Aqsa is at the core of Palestinian nationalism", he told Reuters.

It is the holiest site to Jews and the third holiest in Islam.Since September 2015, Palestinian attackers have killed 43 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British tourist. It later annexed the city in 1980, claiming all of Jerusalem as the Jewish state's "eternal" capital - a move never recognized by the global community. Leaders at the time agreed that the Temple Mount would be administered by an Islamic religious trust known as the Waqf.

The Waq officials were especially distressed that Israeli officers are continuing a thorough, comprehensive search of the compound, including the libraries, places of prayer, clinics and fire protection stations.

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