Palestinians, 2 Israeli Policemen Dead After Jerusalem Clash

Muslims pray as Border Police officers stand guard during Friday prayers in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz

The early morning attack was carried by three Arab-Israelis from the town of Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel.

Palestinian militant group Hamas has praised the shooting attack in Jerusalem that left two police officers dead on Thursday night as a sign of a continuing "Intifada", or uprising, against Israel. Worshipers at the Western Wall will likely not be affected since it's farther away from the scene of the attack.Jerusalem's grand mufti, Mohammad Hussein, was arrested shortly after Friday prayers, which were held on a street outside the Old City.

Authorities have often restricted access to the Al Aqsa mosque when concerned about possible violence there, but a total shutdown is rare.

The location at the holy site was also likely to lead to tensions.

Two holy sites of Islam are located in the area where the clash took place: the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. 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.

Simri said the suspects, whom she identified as terrorists, were carrying firearms. "But then I saw the police coming from everywhere".

Adham Asfour, 30, also said he was unable to return home.

"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", said Rivlin.

Hundreds of Palestinians performed Friday prayer in Bab Al-Asbat after they were prevented from praying at Al-Aqsa mosque.

He said the secretary-general welcomes Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' swift condemnation of Friday's attack and the assurances by Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu "that the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem will be respected".

The official said, "Al-Aqsa operation showed that nothing can stop "al-Quds Intifada".

"There can not be any legitimate reason to close a mosque like the Al-Aqsa to the believers on Friday", Mehmet Gormez tweeted. "No belief accepts this".

Israeli forces arrested two Palestinians during the raid, sources said.

The three attackers were armed with two machine guns, a pistol and a knife, according to Israeli police.



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