Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Friday morning responded to the terror attack in Jerusalem's Old City.
In the attack, three terrorists descended the Temple Mount armed with weapons, and fired at a group of Israeli police officers who were standing near the Lions Gate. Two of the officers were critically wounded and later died and a third was lightly wounded.
"The murderous terror attack at the Temple Mount was stopped by the courageous Israeli policemen who threw themselves in the way, and prevented an even greater disaster," Rivlin said. "We cannot allow for agents of murder, who desecrate the name of God, to drag us into a bloody war.
"We will deal with a heavy hand against all the arms of terror, and its perpetrators.
"We owe a debt of life to the sons we have lost. Our hearts are with the bereaved families at this difficult time, and we pray for the recovery of the wounded.
"The State of Israel will defend its sovereignty and its citizens with a strong hand, and will not allow anyone to provoke the region into a bloody war.
"It is time for the Arab leadership in Israel, and even outside it, to express a clear position against this criminal attack."
Earlier on Friday, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman tweeted, "I am shocked and horrified by the despicable attack today in Jerusalem."
"Terrorism must be condemned by all and defeated. We pray for the victims."