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Stun grenade thrown at mosque in hometown of slain Druze police officer

July 15, 2017 7:00 P.M. (Updated: July 17, 2017 3:54 P.M.)
Nighttime view of a church and a mosque in Ramallah, during Ramadan. (MaanImages/Anna Kokko, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Unknown assailants threw a stun grenade into a mosque in the Palestinian-majority town of Maghar in northern Israel on Saturday, with Israeli news site Ynet reporting that the attack was “likely a reaction to a status published by a young woman in the village, expressing support of Friday's Jerusalem terror attack.”

Three Palestinian citizens of Israel from Umm al-Fahm were shot dead after carrying out a shooting attack in occupied East Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Friday the left two Israeli border police officers killed, who were both members of the Palestinian Druze community.

Ynet quoted a resident of Maghar, the hometown of one of the slain police officers, as saying that “the girl posted a status on Facebook, supporting the residents of Umm al-Fahm who had carried out the attack, which angered a lot of the residents, who denounced the act.”

“After posting the status, a grenade was thrown at the mosque. The girl erased the status and apologized for posting it," Maghar residents told Ynet.

The three slain Palestinian assailants -- Muhammad Jabarin, 29; Muhammad Hamid Abd al-Latif Jabarin, 19; and Muhammad Ahmad Mufdal Jabarin, 19 -- all lived within two blocks of each other in Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel.

The two slain police officers were identified as Hail Stawi, 30, and Kamil Shakib Shinan, 22 -- two Druze citizens of Israel from the villages of Maghar and Horfish respectively.

Unlike Muslim and Christian Palestinian citizens of Israel, Druze and Circassians with Israeli citizenship are subject to mandatory military service in the Israeli forces, one of a number of distinctions made by the Israeli government between indigenous residents of Israel that have been denounced as "divide and conquer" tactics.

"Druze and Muslims live in the village and we all get along well. We're always helping one another. A lot of Muslims attended that funeral of the slain police officer,” one resident told Ynet.

Meanwhile, Ynet quoted Abbas Mansour, another resident of Maghar and an “activist in the Islamic Movement,” as saying that "our village is calm, and its residents are on good terms with one another. This is an unusual event that has nothing to do with the mosque, but has to do with what happened on the street. I call on people to exhibit caution regarding announcements in the media."

An Israeli police spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on the report.

According to Ynet, thousands of mourners attended the funerals of the police officers, including several right-wing Israeli politicians like Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Education Minister Naftali Bennett.

Hours after the shooting attack, Israeli forces destroyed mourning tents that had been set up in Umm al-Fahm, upon a directive from the Israeli government.

Meanwhile, despite international calls to immediately open the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which was closed by Israeli forces Friday morning after the attack, the holy site remained closed off for the second day on Saturday.
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