(JNS.org) Two Israeli Druze police officers were killed by Arab terrorists in an attack early Friday morning near Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
The officers, identified as Haiel Sitawe, 30, and Kamil Shnaan, 22, both hailing from Druze villages in northern Israel, were fatally shot by three Arab terrorists shortly after 7 a.m. local time, near the Lions’ Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City. The terrorists were eventually shot dead by police inside the Temple Mount complex.
Israel’s Shin Bet security agency identified the terrorists as Muhammad Ahmed Muhammad Jabarin, 29, Muhammad Hamad Abdel Latif Jabarin, 19, and Muhammad Ahmed Mafdal Jabarin, 19. They were Arab Israelis from the northern city of Umm al-Fahm.
“This was a tough morning for the police,” Israel Police Commisioner Roni Alsheikh told reporters after the terror attack. “We have two people killed, officers, who paid the dearest price in this battle.”
Sitawe, who hailed from the Druze town of Maghar, joined the Israel Police in 2012 and has since served in a unit guarding the Temple Mount. He leaves behind a wife and 3-week-old son. Shnaan, who was from the Druze village of Hurfeish, was set to be engaged to his girlfriend next week. Both officers were posthumously promoted to master sergeant.
Mourning the slain officers, Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett said the “Jewish people have an eternal bond with our brothers, the Druze.”