Two Israeli policemen killed as Palestinian gunmen open fire near mosque in Jerusalem

Two Israeli policemen killed as Palestinian gunmen open fire near mosque in Jerusalem

The area was guarded after the attack

Friday, July 14, 2017

Two Israeli policemen have been killed after Palestinian gunmen allegedly fired on the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City.

The gunmen started running towards Al-Aqsa mosque, a fulcrum of tension between Israelis and Palestinians, after shooting at police, but were then killed themselves in a police gunfight, Al-Jazeera reported.

The compound has been closed by police today (July 14) and no prayers are to take place there.

Harry Fawcett, a reporter for Al-Jazeera, claimed police said that the gunmen were armed with two machine guns as well as a pistol and a knife.

He added that "management of Al-Aqsa mosque said the bodies of two Palestinians were inside the courtyard of the compound."

News agency Wafa said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack when speaking to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the phone.

It also reported Abbas has now called for Netanyahu to close the site, but Netanyahu says there is a long-standing status quo.

It's believed the closure of the compound could cause Palestinian tensions to increase, as the Al-Aqsa site is considered the third-holiest site in Islam and has been the scene of regular violence in the past.

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