A court released footage on Thursday from last week's attack on the Temple Mount showing how the attackers, Israeli Arabs from Umm al-Fahm, were able to successfully enter the holy site with weapons and carry out the assault that killed Israeli police officers Hael Sathawi and Kamil Shanan.
- Amid tensions, Muslim custodians of Temple Mount call for massive Friday prayers outside of Al-Aqsa
- Temple Mount crisis shows who's really calling the shots at the site
- Remove metal detectors first
The four men – three attackers and an accomplice – arrived at Jerusalem's Old City via bus and walked through Herod's Gate, staggering their entrance. The accomplice walked behind them, carrying weapons in a bag. The three assailants passed through the Huta Gate, entering the Temple Mount and heading into Al-Aqsa Mosque. Inside the mosque, the accomplice gives the attackers the weapons bag, and subsequently left the Temple Mount.
They went to change clothes, hiding their weapons underneath, returned to the entrance to the Temple Mount compound at opened fire on the Israeli policemen, killing Shanan. The assailants ran back inside the Temple Mount compound. Officers at the scene, including Sathawi, heard the gunshots and opened fire at the assailants. Two of the assailants were killed on the spot and another ran toward the Temple Mount plaza where he collapsed. Sathawi was killed in the exchange of fire.
Officers at the scene began aiding the wounded. According to the police, when police sappers examined the wounded assailant, he got up and tried to brandish a knife. Police shot him again and killed him.
Following the attack, police shuttered the Temple Mount to worshippers, only opening it again early in the week and placing metal detectors at the entrance to the compound, a move that prompted clashes between Muslim worshippers at Israeli security forces.
In protest of Israel placing metal detectors, the mufti of Jerusalem and the heads of the Waqf religious trust called on all imams in the city and surrounding areas on Wednesday night to not hold Friday prayers in their mosques, but to come to Al-Aqsa for prayer instead.
This unprecedented appeal could bring tens of thousands of worshippers to the Temple Mount, and both the police and army are preparing for confrontations in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. They are working under the assumption that the metal detectors will not be removed before Friday.