JERUSALEM (JTA) – Jordan and Israel traded accusations after an Israeli police officer killed a Jordanian citizen who was stabbing him.
Jordan’s government said in a statement that it holds Israel responsible for the man’s death. The attacker, Mohammad Abdullah Salim al-Kasji, 57, had entered Israel several days ago on a tourist visa.
On Saturday, he attacked a policeman in Jerusalem’s Old City near the Lion’s Gate, pulling out two knives and charging the officer, stabbing him in the neck and head. The attack was captured on video, which was released Saturday night. The Jordanian government’s statement released after the attack said: “The Israeli government, as the occupying power, bears responsibility for the shooting of a Jordanian citizen in the occupied East Jerusalem on Saturday, which led to his martyrdom.”
It also said that Jordan “condemns as heinous the crime committed against the Jordanian citizen and demanded Israel to reveal the full details of the crime.”
The Prime Minister’s Office responded in a statement issued late Saturday night: “It is outrageous to hear the support that the Jordanian government spokesman gave to the terror attack. It’s about time that Jordan stops this double game. Just as Israel denounces terror attacks in Jordan, so must Jordan denounce terror attacks in Israel. Terrorism is terrorism, no matter where it is.”
The commander of the Israel Police’s Jerusalem District, Deputy Commissioner Yoram Halevy, praised the police officer during a visit to his bedside at Shaare Tzedek Medical Center.
“We are very proud of you, proud of what you did and of how you reacted,” he said. “In the end we save lives, save civilians. You knew to respond correctly, and you were in the right place.