After a Palestinian man attempted to commit an act of murder, terrorism and a hate crime by attempting to gun down a Jewish man, Israeli authorities killed the terrorist in a shoot-out. A portion of the Israeli government’s response was to shut down al-Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third holiest site. It’s believed that the move had to do with the Jewish man’s work to help ensure Israeli access to the property.
Contrary to the claims of an as yet unidentified “Senior Obama official”, that sure doesn’t sound like a ‘chickensh*t’ move:
Israel’s closure of the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound to all visitors following the shooting of a Jewish hardliner is tantamount to a “declaration of war,” Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Thursday.
“This dangerous Israeli escalation is a declaration of war on the Palestinian people and its sacred places and on the Arab and Islamic nation,” his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina quoted him as saying.
“We hold the Israeli government responsible for this dangerous escalation in Jerusalem that has reached its peak through the closure of the Al-Aqsa mosque this morning,” he told AFP.
The compound houses Islam’s third holiest site, but is also the most sacred spot for Jews who refer to it as the Temple Mount because it once housed two Jewish temples.
Although non-Muslims can visit the site, Jews are not allowed to pray there for fear it could disturb the fragile status quo.
“This decision is a dangerous act and a blatant challenge that will lead to more tension and instability and will create a negative and dangerous atmosphere,” he said.
“The state of Palestine will take all legal measures to hold Israel accountable and to stop these ongoing attacks.”
Israel ordered the compound closed to all visitors, both Jewish and Muslim, early on Thursday after an overnight shooting incident in which a man on a motorbike tried to gun down an ultranationalist Jewish activist who has long worked to secure Jewish prayer rights at the Al-Aqsa plaza.
Several hours later, police stormed the house of the suspected Palestinian gunman, sparking a gunfight in which he was killed.
A Palestinian attempts to gun down a Jewish nationalist, thereby committing an act of attempted murder, an act of terrorism, and a hate crime. Israeli authorities track the guy down. He doesn’t go quietly, no. He decides to engage Israeli authorities in a gun fight – and loses. The Israelis react by closing down the property on which the al-Aqsa mosque sits.
Then Palestinian Authority’s President Mahmoud Abbas says Israel escalated the situation.