ISIS Claims Responsibility for Jerusalem Attack
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 21, 2017,
Jun 21, 2017, 3:45
Israeli police have shot dead three Palestinians after a deadly knife attack outside the Old City of Jerusalem, in which a policewoman died.
Police opened fire in response and killed both, then shot and killed the stabber at the Damascus Gate in a defensive move later condemned as a "war crime" by the leading Fatah faction of the Palestinian Authority, headed by PA leader Mahmoud Abbas.
The attack took place as Muslims were marking the end of the third Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan, during which tens of thousands of Palestinians from east Jerusalem and the West Bank attended prayers at the nearby al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam's third-holiest site. All were from the same village near Ramallah in the West Bank and had been detained in the past for suspected "terrorist" activities. However there have been a string of recent attacks near the Old City.
"The attack in Jerusalem is renewed proof of the continued revolution of the people against the occupier, and that the intifada continues until full freedom is attained", the group said in a statement.
"Three terrorists coordinated an attack, armed with one Carl Gustav automatic weapon and knives", Rosenfeld said Saturday.
Israeli media reported that in one of the incidents, close to Damascus Gate, the attackers rushed at a group of border guards, with one brandishing a homemade submachine gun, which jammed.
The Israeli army said the assailants appeared have acted independently, like numerous attackers in a wave of unrest that has rocked Israel and the occupied territories since October 2015, violence Israel has dubbed "popular terrorism".
If IS's claim of involvement was true, it would be its first direct action against Israel.
Thirty-eight Israelis, two American tourists and a British student have been killed in shootings, car-rammings and stabbings since a wave of Palestinian street attacks began in October 2015. Palestinian officials reject the accusation and say the violence stems from anger over Israeli occupation of land sought by Palestinians.
It claim the entire city as its indivisible capital but the Palestinians claim its eastern sector as the capital of their promised state. The assailants came from West Bank and were between the ages of 18 and 19.
Israel blames the violence on incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders.