Friday’s terror attack near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, where three Arab terrorists killed two Israeli police officers, was praised by the Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri tweeted, “The Jerusalem operation is a natural response to Israeli terrorism and the desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” Islamic Jihad called the attack “heroic.”
According to a transcript of a call between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Abbas “expressed his strong rejection and condemnation of the incident that took place in Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as his rejection of any violent incidents from any side, especially in places of worship.”
Following Friday’s terror attack, the Israeli government cancelled Muslim prayers on the Temple Mount for the day and ordered the complex to be cleared. Abbas also called on Netanyahu to reopen Al-Aqsa—which sits in the Temple Mount complex—to worshippers, while warning Israel of the “repercussions of these measures” and attempts “to change the religious and historical status of the holy places.”
Netanyahu reiterated his long-held position that there are no plans to change the status quo on the Temple Mount, where Jewish visitation is limited and Jewish prayer is banned. Israeli leaders have long accused Abbas and other Palestinian leaders of using the Temple Mount issue as a basis for incitement and violence.