J Street condemns today’s horrifying terror attack at the entrance to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, in which two officers of the Israeli Border Police were shot and killed and another officer was wounded. At this terrible time, our thoughts are with the victims, their families and the people of Jerusalem.
Tensions at the Temple Mount always run very high, and an act of terror like this has the terrifying potential to trigger a spiral of rage, confrontation and further violence – as history has shown us all too well. It is extremely important in this moment that Israeli and Palestinian leaders – along with other leaders in the region – act calmly and prudently to condemn violence, protect civilians and prevent new clashes.
It is a welcome sign that Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas have already held a phone call in which Abbas condemned the attack and acts of violence in general, and in which Netanyahu promised to maintain the status quo at the Temple Mount. Going forward, the Palestinian leader and members of his party must act clearly and decisively to condemn incitement and calls for confrontation. The Israeli government must do everything it can to maintain the security of the site while avoiding steps that could lead to escalation.
Acts of terror do nothing but perpetuate conflict and add to the toll of grief, hate and mistrust. But with responsible leadership, the consequences of this heinous attack can be contained and lives can be saved.