A Jordanian citizen was shot and killed after he stabbed an Israeli police officer near Jerusalem’s Old City early on Shabbat, police said.
The attack shut down the Old City for hours on a busy day for tourists, leaving many confined to certain spots within the Old City for a few hours.
Muhammad Abdullah Salim al-Kassji, a 57-year-old Jordanian citizen who entered Israel several days ago, carried out the attack, Israeli media reported.
The police officer was treated at the hospital for his injuries. He was wounded in his neck, head and hands. He remained conscious and in stable condition.
“The terrorist rushed toward him, whipped out a knife that he had in his possession, stormed him and began stabbing him. The police officer responded with determination and in a professional manner, managed to activate his weapon and neutralized him,” Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.
Security camera footage released by the police shows the officer walking by when he is violently assaulted by a man with a knife. The two scuffle on the ground until apparently the knifer, who had been on top of the officer making stabbing motions, is shot.
While Israel expected Jordan to condemn the attack, instead the Jordanian government called the officer’s shooting of his attacker “a heinous crime,” and demanded an investigation.
“The Israeli government, which is the occupying force, bears responsibility for the shooting of a Jordanian citizen in occupied East Jerusalem which led to his martyrdom,” Mohammad Momani, Jordanian government spokesman, said in a statement. “The government denounces this heinous crime…and has asked Israel to provide full details about it.”
Israel called the Jordanian reaction “outrageous,” making it seem like Jordan is supporting the “terror attack.”
“It’s time for Jordan to stop playing this double game,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. “Just as Israel condemns terror attacks in Jordan, Jordan must condemn terror attacks in Israel. Terror is terror wherever it is.”
Jordan and Israel signed a peace accord in 1994.
A week ago, a 16-year-old Palestinian female attempted to stab police officers and was shot dead by security forces at Damascus Gate. According to police, Fatima Hajiji approached a group of officers who were standing guard at the gate.
“The terrorist arrived from Sultan Suleiman Street toward the steps of the Damascus Gate. She approached a police and border guard force stationed in the area. She took out a knife and while screaming ‘Allahu Akhbar’ tried to attack them,” the spokesperson said. “The force responded with determination and professionalism, and neutralized her,” the spokesperson added.
Sporadic violence has plagued Israel and the Palestinian Territories since September 2015 in the form of stabbings, shootings or car ramming attacks while some during clashes and protests.