Grenade thrown at mosque maybe prompted by Temple Mount attack praise: police
Unknown assailants threw a stun grenade at a mosque in the Druze village of Maghar in northern Israel on Friday, in the hometown of one of two policeman killed in a terrorist attack at Jerusalem's Temple Mount holy site.
Police said that no one was injured in the incident just hours after the attack in Jerusalem, and said that they were investigating whether it was connected in any way to the death of Sergeant Major General Haiel Stawi.
According to the Times of Israel, police suspect that the incident may have been prompted by a Facebook post by a female Muslim resident which praised Stawi's murderers, three Arab-Israeli residents of Umm al-Fahm, as "martyrs".
Haiel Stawi, 30, was laid to rest in Maghar on Friday evening. He is survived by his wife, three-week old baby, his parents, and three siblings.
Stawi dedicated his life to public service, climbing the ranks of Israel's Border Police before being promoted to the special unit that secures Jerusalem's sensitive Temple Mount complex.
Speaking at Stawi's funeral, Israel Police Chief Roni Alsheich called for calm on all sides, and urged "all leaderships of all sectors, communities and ethnic groups not to allow any extreme ideology, any movement or group to disturb the peace."
He added that extremists "will be dealt with severely, as is appropriate for the war on terror."
Alsheikh eulogized Stawi as a "good friend" who was always "professional, steadfast and vigilant" and "the first to volunteer to help a friend in need."
"Today, terrorists opened fire from a short range away," Alsheikh said. "As usual, you were the first to act and run to where the shots were coming from."
"There's no way to describe this amount of pain," Alsheikh said to the Stawi family, "we promise you will never walk alone."
Both Stawi and the second officer killed in the attack, Lieutenant-Colonel Kamil Shanan, were both members of Israel's Druze community, a religious minority spread across Israel, Lebanon and Syria.
The second officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Kamil Shanan, was laid to rest shortly after Stawi in the hailed from the prominent Druze village of Hurfeish, in the hills of Israel's north.
Shanan was the youngest son of a former Labor Party Knesset member, Shachiv Shnaan. He leaves behind his parents, one brother and three sisters, and a fiance whose engagement party was to be held next week.
In a statement after the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Druze pay “the heaviest price” for Israel’s security.
“The Druze community is paying the heaviest price in our joint mission to defend the security of our country, and I salute them and their heroism, and their memory will always be preserved in our hearts."
The brazen attack at one of Jerusalem's holiest sites, revered by both Jews and Muslims, threatened to exacerbate Israeli-Palestinian tensions.
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