Published: Sun, July 16, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

White House condemns terror attack in Jerusalem

White House condemns terror attack in Jerusalem

Hussein's son Jihad Hussein told AFP his father had been taken to a police station near the Old City.

Three gunmen were shot dead and two Israeli civilians injured on Friday during a shootout near a holy site in Jerusalem, the media reported.

The US today strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Jerusalems Old City in which two Israeli police officers were killed and called for the "defeat" and eradication of terrorism.

"We insist on reaching the Al-Aqsa Mosque and performing prayers there".

Netanyahu's statement came after three Palestinians opened fire on Israelis near the site, wounding three before fleeing into the compound where they were killed in a gunfight with security forces.

"The construction in Jerusalem is necessary and important", Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat, stressed, adding that "the work will strongly continue in order to get as numerous Jewish youths to live in Israel's capital as possible".

With Al-Aqsa closed, crowds gathered at Old City gates and held Friday prayers there instead.

On Saturday, Israeli security forces locked down parts of Jerusalem's Old City, restricting access through Damascus Gate, the main entrance used by Palestinians. The compound is home to both the Al-Aqsa mosque, and the place known as the Wailing Wall, which is the holiest site in Judaism. The Israeli ambulance service said a third policeman had been lightly wounded in the incident.

Israel occupied east Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War.

Netanyahu signalled later in the day that the site would remain closed until at least Sunday.

Jews are allowed to visit, but are banned from praying there to avoid provoking tensions.

The fighting inside the complex was one of the worst incidents of violence on the Temple Mount in years, and the images of the gun battle and fatalities are liable to raise tensions throughout the region.

But many were shot dead in protests and clashes, while some were killed in Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

Some witnesses said that Israeli forces entered the mosque compound with shoes on, which is highly disrespectful to the sacred space, and also proceeded to dump out garbage containers on the floor, claiming to be "searching" them.

A spokesman for Egypt's foreign ministry voiced concern that the violence could undermine efforts to revive peace negotiations and called on the sides to "exercise restraint".

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