Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday afternoon held an additional assessment of the situation following the terrorist attack in the Old City of Jerusalem in which police officers Haiel Sitawe and Kamil Shnaan were murdered.
The meeting was attended by the Defense and Internal Security Ministers, the chief of staff, the police commissioner, the head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.
Netanyahu instructed that the mourning tents set up by the families of the terrorists in Umm al-Fahm be dismantled. The families later complied with a police order on this issue and dismantled their tents.
Netanyahu also ordered a significant strengthening of the security arrangements in the access roads to the Temple Mount.
During the discussion, it was decided to continue the investigation of the attack on the Temple Mount over the weekend. It was also decided that, based to an assessment of the situation on Sunday, the Temple Mount will gradually open to worshipers and visitors.
Initial investigations showed that three terrorists descended the Temple Mount after prayers armed with weapons and walked towards the Old City's Lions Gate. Seeing the police officers, the terrorists fired, then ran back towards the mosques on the Temple Mount where they were eliminated.
The two officers who were killed were transferred to the Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus in critical condition, where they were pronounced dead.
A third officer who was lightly wounded was transferred to Shaare Zedek Hospital.
The two officers who were murdered, Haiel Sitawe and Kamil Shnaan, were laid to rest in separate funerals on Friday evening.
Sitawe was brought to rest in the town of Maghar while Shnaan was laid to rest in the village of Hurfeish.
Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh spoke at Sitawe’s funeral, saying, “Today you went out as head of a patrol, you were not even supposed to be this patrol where you found your death, but a friend asked for your help and you immediately responded. This is who you were — a true friend.”
“Your friends cannot process the reality that you are no longer alive….Family members do not have the words to describe the pain. Their pain is our pain, their grief is our grief,” added Alsheikh, turning directly to Sitawe’s family.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)