The terrorist who was shot dead on Thursday while firing at Israeli policemen at the entrance to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem was identified as an Israeli-Arab from the north, a Christian who had recently converted to Islam.
The Haifa resident in his 40s was shot by the police while he was firing at them, during which he lightly injured an officer in the arm.
He had a police record and was known to the police.
Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan stated after the attack that Israel “will not allow the despicable terrorists to harm security in Jerusalem and we will act in any way possible to thwart the plans by the terror groups to escalate tensions in the area.”
The attack occurred just hours after an Arab terrorist rammed his car into a group of IDF soldiers in Jerusalem, injuring 12 soldiers, one of whom is in serious condition.
The police said they saw no connection between the incidents.
However, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas, condemned what he described as “the dangerous Israeli escalation against the Palestinian people” that led in the last 24 hours to the killing of three men and the injury of dozens of others in clashes with Israeli forces.
One terrorist was killed in Hebron on Wednesday after throwing a firebomb at Israeli forces, and another was killed on Wednesday night in Jenin while firing at IDF troops who were operating in the city.
The third casualty, a PA policeman, was shot and killed during the clashes in Jenin. The IDF stated that it was investigating the incident. It is unclear if he was killed by the IDF’s fire or by shots fired by the terrorists.
Abu Rudeineh blamed the escalation on the US Deal of the Century, which he claimed “created this atmosphere for the escalation and tension by trying to impose false facts on the ground that we have repeatedly warned against and stressed that any deal that does not meet the rights of our people and does not aim to make a just and comprehensive peace will inevitably lead to this escalation that we are witnessing today.”
Member of Knesset Orna Barbivai, a former IDF general, stated after the vehicular attack that the Palestinian Authority is “again mistaken in legitimizing the rising violence with the thought that intentionally setting fire in the streets against Israel will help it.”
She called on Abbas to “take responsibility and reconsider his actions.”