Palestinian Assailant Posts on Facebook Before Killing Three Israelis: 'I'm Going to Die for Al-Aqsa'

According to preliminary investigation, 19-year-old assailant purchased knife used in attack after recent escalation in Temple Mount tensions

Israeli forces near the site of the attack in the West Bank settlement of Halamish and assailant Omar al-Abed, July 21, 2017.
Israeli forces near the site of the attack in the West Bank settlement of Halamish and assailant Omar al-Abed, July 21, 2017.

The Palestinian assailant who murdered three Israelis in the West Bank settlement of Halamish on Friday posted on Facebook nearly 90 minutes before the attack that he was "going to die for Al-Aqsa."

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In the hours preceding the attack, 19-year-old Omar el-Abed posted on Facebook: "I am writing my will and these are my last words. I am young, I have not yet reached the age of 20, I have many dreams and aspirations."

"But what life is this, in which they murder our wives and our youth without any justification. They desecrate the Al-Aqsa mosque and we are asleep, it's a digrace that we sit idly by," he continued, asking those who have weapons "but only take them out for weddings and celebrations: Are you not ashamed of yourselves? Why won't you declare war for God? They have closed Al-Aqsa mosque and your weapons are still."

The Facebook post of Omar al-Abed, posted hours before he killed three Israelis in the West Bank settlement of Halamish.

Al-Abed added: "All I have is a sharpened knife, and it responds to the call of Al-Aqsa. Shame on you, you who preach hate. God will take revenge on you...we are all sons of Palestine and sons of Al-Aqsa. You, the sons of monkeys and pigs, if you do not open the gates of Al-Aqsa, I am sure they will come after you and beat you with an iron first, I warn you."

Hamas expressed its support for the killings. Hamas spokesman Husam Badran said: "We will continue fighting the occupation in all points of friction for the support of Al-Aqsa." Israeli security forces said the assailant identifies with Hamas, but is not considered an active member in the organization.

Three Palestinians were killed on Friday in clashes between protestors and Israeli security forces in East Jerusalem, Palestinian sources have reported. Israel's military say over 3,000 took part in protests throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem on Friday. Clashes also erupted between protestors and Israeli forces in the south of the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday ordered the suspension of all official contact with Israel until it removed new security measures at the Jerusalem holy site.