Israel locks down Al-Aqsa mosque compound after attack

Three assailants opened fire on Israeli police in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday before fleeing to a nearby highly sensitive holy site and being killed by security forces, police said.

A number of people were wounded in the attack, police said. The attackers had fled to the site known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount.

No details were immediately available on the identity of the attackers.

While a number of attacks have occurred around Jerusalem’s Old City, they have often involved knives. The location at the holy site was also likely to lead to tensions.

Police locked down the area and the Al-Aqsa mosque compound at the holy site was closed for Friday prayers.

A wave of unrest that broke out in October 2015 has claimed the lives of at least 277 Palestinians, 42 Israelis, two Americans, two Jordanians, an Eritrean, a Sudanese and a Briton, according to an AFP toll.

Israeli authorities say most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks.

Others were shot dead in protests and clashes, while some were killed in Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

The violence has greatly subsided in recent months.

News24