Terrorist killed after attempting to steal officer’s weapon in Jerusalem, family dispute terror claim

Arabs in Israel are launching a strike in response to the incident.

By World Israel News Staff

A Bedouin man from southern Israel was shot dead by police on Saturday night near the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem, Israel Police said, adding that the man had tried to steal a police officer’s weapon and commit a terrorist attack.

Muhammad Alasaibi’s family, who live in the southern Bedouin village of Hura, have maintained his innocence, saying he was a “normal youth, a medical student in Romania who returned for a month.” The Justice Ministry unit in charge of investigating internal police affairs has opened a probe.

Police officers claimed that there was no CCTV operating in the Chain Gate area. A former senior source at the Jerusalem District Police corroborated the claim, saying that certain areas, especially those inside the gate, as was the case here, are not under surveillance.

After police stopped a woman on her way to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, clashes broke out between them and with other Palestinians in the area, eyewitnesses said. According to police, Alasaibi, 26, was told to leave the area because the Chain Gate was closed.

Alasaibi argued with the officer and then grabbed his pistol and managed to fire several rounds at border police at the scene.

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“At a certain point, the terrorist turned to me, seized the pistol which was secured from its holster and fired several bullets at the officers,” said the officer. “I managed to overpower him in a matter of seconds to take the weapon out of his hands and neutralize him, along with the other police officer who was with me. I was sure that he intended to shoot all the police officers who were operating at the scene because he aimed at the officers and shot at them, but luckily he didn’t hit anyone.”

Police Chief Kobi Shabtai commended the police officers involved in the incident.

“There is no doubt that this is a terror attack,” he added.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir also expressed his support of the officers’ version of events.

“I back the policemen in Jerusalem,” he wrote on Twitter. “The quick response of the police officers prevented harm to human life and I congratulate and support them.”

In response to Israeli media reports commenting on the lack of security footage, a police statement said: “Every security camera in the area was checked, and unfortunately the attack itself was not filmed by security cameras or by body cameras on the officers who were fighting off the terrorist and subduing him at that moment.” It continued, “Contrary to false reports…every inch of land in the Old City/Temple Mount is not being filmed by security cameras. As such, the attack did not occur in the outer area of the Chain Gate, which is indeed well documented, but in the internal area, in a dead zone.”

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Alasaibi’s uncle, Fathi, called his nephew’s death “a terrible tragedy.”

“This is a narrative that the police are trying to whitewash. There are no videos. There is no chance that it is related to terror,” he said.

“If the police admit that they were wrong, it will be much less painful,” he added.

The incident has sparked outrage among Arabs, with the High Arab Monitoring Committee declaring a strike to be held on Sunday.

MK Mansour Abbas, head of the Islamist Ra’am party, called it a police “cover-up.”

“I don’t believe the police version of events,” he said.

Hamas warned on Saturday that the killing of Osaibi “will not go unanswered,” accusing police of a “cold-blooded execution.”