A view of the Al-Aqsa mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount Andrew Shiva via Wikimedia Commons
A view of the Al-Aqsa mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount /Andrew Shiva via Wikimedia Commons

Israeli police today evacuated the Al-Aqsa mosque area in Jerusalem, the third holiest place for Islam, after an Israeli Arab was shot dead in the vicinity when he allegedly tried to stab an officer.

“A terrorist who had left the Temple Mount , met a group of policemen and tried to stab one with a knife,” security forces said on Twitter.

The man, identified as a 30-year-old resident of Um al Fahem, an Arab town in northern Israel, was “shot and neutralized,” according to the statement, which added that “there were no casualties among police officers or civilians in the area.

Police deployed additional forces in the area, which was cordoned off, opened an investigation and evacuated people from the Esplanade to inspect it.

The site is in the Old City of Jerusalem, in the eastern part of the city occupied by Israel since 1967, was unilaterally annexed in 1980 without recognition by the international community and the Palestinians claim as the capital of their state.