Hadash MK Ayman Odeh, head of the Joint List, denounced on Thursday, February 6, a shooting attack in Jerusalem’s Old City perpetrated a few hours earlier by an Arab citizen of Israel from Haifa. “We strongly condemn this shooting,” Odeh, said in a statement. “It is unacceptable for an Israeli citizen to use a weapon. The Arab citizens of the state have opted for a just civil and democratic struggle to end the occupation and to achieve peace and equality. We will not accept any other way.”
Last Thursday Shadi Bana from Haifa, reportedly a recent convert from Christianity to Islam, opened fire at a group of Israeli Border Policemen outside Haram al-Sharif / the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. In the shooting one Border Police officer was slightly wounded. The fleeing assailant was shot dead by pursuing officers.
Security camera footage of the attack released by the police shows the gunman armed with a pistol walk up to a group of officers under a tent outside the holy site and open fire at them.
Thursday’s shooting was presumably tied to the release of US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Tuesday, January 28 in Washington. Tensions in the West Bank and Jerusalem increased markedly in the wake of the much hyped US presidential announcement. The Palestinian Authority immediately rejected the proposal, which was widely seen as being overwhelmingly biased in favor of Israel and the occupation.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas, condemned what he described as the dangerous Israeli escalation against the Palestinian people that led to the killing of four young Palestinians, three protesters and a uniformed Palestinian Authority policeman, on Wednesday and Thursday, February 5-6, and to the injury of dozens of others.
In an official statement to the press, Abu Rudeineh identified the escalation with the so-called “Deal of the Century.” The Palestinian spokesman said that Trump’s plan “created this atmosphere of escalation and tension by trying to impose facts on the ground that we have repeatedly warned against, and have stressed that any deal that does not recognize the rights of our people and does not aim to formulate a just and comprehensive peace will inevitably lead to acts like the one we witnessed today,” referring to the shooting attack outside Haram al-Sharif.
Abu Rudeineh warned against the systematic Israeli escalation of the situation, stressing, “The Palestinian people and its leadership will stand strong against all these conspiracies and will foil them just as they have in all previous cases, regardless of the sacrifices.” “The message that the world must understand is that which President Mahmoud Abbas will assert in his important upcoming speech before the UN Security Council [on Tuesday, February 11]: a peace based on UN Security Council resolutions, international law and the Arab Peace Initiative,” said the Palestinian presidential spokesman.