Fifth Person Dies In Israeli Synagogue Attack – ABC News

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An Israeli police officer has died of his wounds from an attack at a Jerusalem synagogue by two knife-wielding Palestinian men earlier today, bringing the death toll in the assault to five.

The attackers also killed four rabbis, three of them American.

The officer was critically wounded when two Palestinian men armed with knives, axes and a pistol burst into the synagogue during morning prayers. He later died of his wounds.

The two alleged attackers were identified as cousins, Ghassan and Oday Abu Jamal, from East Jerusalem, according to a police spokeswoman. Police said they shot and killed them at the scene.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would reply harshly after police said Palestinian assailants wielding knives and axes killed five people after attacking a Jerusalem synagogue.

After the attack, Netanyahu ordered the demolition of the alleged attackers homes and arrested multiple members of each mans family. He told reporters he would also demolish the homes of other Palestinians accused of recent attacks against Israeli citizens.

We will respond with a heavy hand to the brutal murder of Jews who came to pray and were met by reprehensible murderers, said Netanyahu.

This the first attack of this kind on an Israeli synagogue.

Netanyahu earlier had denounced the attack as a “cruel murder of Jews who came to pray and were killed by despicable murderers.”

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Fifth Person Dies In Israeli Synagogue Attack – ABC News

3 U.S. citizens killed in Jerusalem synagogue attack

Israeli emergency personnel walk past blood on the floor in a synagogue that was the scene of an attack by two Palestinians on Israeli worshippers in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighborhood in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images

Last Updated Nov 18, 2014 11:05 AM EST

JERUSALEM — Two Palestinians stormed a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, attacking worshippers praying inside with meat cleavers and a gun, and killing four people before they were killed in a shootout with police, officials said.

Three of the victims — Aryeh Kopinsky, Calman Levine, Moshe Twersky — were dual American-Israeli citizens, a police official confirmed to CBS News. The fourth, Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, was a dual British-Israeli citizen. All four were also rabbis. A fifth victim, a policeman, died of his wounds later, CBS News reported. He was identified in the Jerusalem Post as 30-year-old Zidan Saif.

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Four rabbis killed in deadliest attack in Jerusalem in years as tensions soar.

In a statement, President Obama condemned the attack, but urged for calm on all sides.

“At this sensitive moment in Jerusalem, it is all the more important for Israeli and Palestinian leaders and ordinary citizens to work cooperatively together to lower tensions, reject violence, and seek a path forward towards peace,” Mr. Obama said.

It was the deadliest attack in Jerusalem in years and was bound to ratchet up fears of sustained violence in the city, already on edge amid soaring tensions over a contested holy site.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Israel will “respond harshly” to the attack, describing it as a “cruel murder of Jews who came to pray and were killed by despicable murderers.” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he spoke to Netanyahu after the assault and denounced it as an “act of pure terror and senseless brutality and violence.”

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3 U.S. citizens killed in Jerusalem synagogue attack

Israeli cabinet moves to define Israel as Jewish state

In a move likely to further inflame tensions with Israel’s Arab citizens, the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday approved a bill to legally define the country as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

The decision, which set off a stormy debate that could bring down Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s brittle coalition government, followed weeks of deadly Arab-Jewish violence and was denounced by critics as damaging to the country’s democratic character and poorly timed at such a combustible moment.

It now heads toward a full parliamentary vote on Wednesday.

Israel has always defined itself as the “Jewish state” a term that was contained in the country’s declaration of independence in 1948. The new law seeks to codify that status as a “Basic Law,” Israel’s de facto constitution.

While many critics derided the measure as unnecessary, Netanyahu told his Cabinet the bill is a response to Israel’s Arab critics both inside and outside Israel who question the country’s right to exist.

Netanyahu has long demanded that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland as a condition of any peace deal. Both the Palestinians and their Arab Israeli brethren say such acceptance would harm the rights of Israel’s more than 1.5 million Arab citizens.

The bill calls not only for recognizing Israel’s Jewish character but for institutionalizing Jewish law as an inspiration for legislation and dropping Arabic as an official language.

Netanyahu insisted that Israel would be both Jewish and democratic.

“There are those who would like the democratic to prevail over the Jewish and there are those who would like the Jewish to prevail over the democratic,” he said. “And in the principles of the law that I will submit today both of these values are equal and both must be considered to the same degree.”

Israel is in the midst of its worst sustained bout of violence in nearly a decade. Eleven Israelis have been killed in Palestinian attacks over the past month, including five people who were killed with guns and meat cleavers in a bloody assault on a Jerusalem synagogue last week.

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Israeli cabinet moves to define Israel as Jewish state

Netanyahu warns of 'grave mistake' if France recognises Palestine

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Sunday (Nov 23) that France’s parliament would be making a “grave mistake” if it recognises a Palestinian state in a vote on Dec 2.

“Do they have nothing better to do at a time of beheadings across the Middle East, including that of a French citizen?” he told reporters in Jerusalem, referring to hiker HerveGourdel who was executed by his militant captors in Algeria in September. “Recognition of a Palestinian state by France would be a grave mistake,” Netanyahu said.

“The State of Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people, the only state that we have, and the Palestinians demanding a state do not want to recognise the right to have a state for the Jewish people,” Netanyahu told members of Israel’s growing Jewish community from France.

His comments came just hours after his cabinet voted 14-6 in favour of a controversial proposal to anchor in law Israel’s status as “the national homeland of the Jewish people”.

France’s plans for a non-binding but highly symbolic vote follows similar resolutions passed by the British and Spanish parliaments, and an official decision to recognise Palestine by the Swedish government. Sweden’s move infuriated Israel which responded by recalling its ambassador to Stockholm.

A draft of the proposal in France “invites the French government to use the recognition of the state of Palestine as an instrument to gain a definitive resolution of the conflict”.

European leaders have shown signs of mounting impatience with Israel over its continued settlement-building on Palestinian land. Criticism has become more focused in the wake of this summer’s 50-day offensive by the Israeli army in Gaza that killed about 2,200 Palestinians and dozens of Israelis.

The French parliamentary vote follows a similar resolution to “recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution” approved by British lawmakers on Oct 13. Israel warned that the British resolution, which passed with a huge majority but is also non-binding, risked undermining peace prospects.

Sweden went further by announcing on Oct 30 that it officially recognised the Palestinian state, a move heavily criticised by Israel and the United States.

The Palestinian Authority estimates that 135 countries have now recognised Palestine as a state, although the number is disputed and several recognitions by what are now European Union member states date back to the Soviet era.

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Netanyahu warns of 'grave mistake' if France recognises Palestine

Tensions grow between Israel's Jewish majority and Arab minority

Tensions gripping Israel after this weeks attack on a Jerusalem synagogue took on distinct ethnic overtones Thursday when a mayor in southern Israel said he was banning Arab workers from construction projects at local day-care centers.

The mayor of Ashkelon, Itamar Shimoni, swiftly came under criticism from other Israeli officials over the ban, which he said had come in response to demands by parents and was not intended as a permanent measure. The workers in question were building reinforced concrete safe rooms to protect the preschoolers and their teachers against rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

Shimonoi also ordered armed guards placed near dozens of other construction sites employing Arabs.

Arab citizens of Israel, who make up 20% of the population, responded to the news with a mixture of resignation and indignation. Why stop at kindergartens? Arab Israeli lawmaker Ahmed Tibi asked sarcastically. Maybe all of Israel should just be Arab-free?

While recent clashes have involved mainly Palestinians living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, where Arabs are in the majority, the friction has spilled over into Israeli cities and towns that have predominantly Arab populations.

Earlier this month, the fatal police shooting of a young Arab man who had battered a police vehicle triggered days of rioting around the northern town of Kfar Kana. Protests were galvanized by a video that appeared to show the man backing away as he was shot.

The Kfar Kana episode crystallized feelings of resentment on the part of many Israeli Arabs, who say they are often treated as second-class citizens, facing systematic discrimination in jobs, housing and education. Arab sensibilities also have been rankled by efforts by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus government on behalf of a bill that would designate Israel as the nation-state of the Jews.

No Arab citizen of Israel has been implicated as a perpetrator in a recent wave of attacks that have killed 11 people in the past month, including five who died in Tuesdays assault on a synagogue in the devoutly religious neighborhood of Har Nof in West Jerusalem.

But even before the synagogue carnage, a series of lone-wolf assaults by assailants wielding knives or using cars as weapons had left many Israeli Jews feeling fearful for their personal safety. In some quarters that has led to blanket mistrust of all Arabs, whether they are citizens of Israel or not.

Authorities were investigating whether the two assailants in Har Nof, who were killed by police at the scene, had worked in a store in the neighborhood, and thus had knowledge of prayer times, and the fact that the synagogue was virtually unguarded. The attackers were Arab residents of East Jerusalem, most of whom do not have Israeli citizenship but are able to move and work freely in the city.

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Tensions grow between Israel's Jewish majority and Arab minority

Four Rabbis Killed In Gruesome Attack At A Jerusalem Synagogue #2| November 18, 2014 – Video




Four Rabbis Killed In Gruesome Attack At A Jerusalem Synagogue #2| November 18, 2014
F.B.I. to investigate attack as three of the victims are dual Israeli-American citizens. From abcNews, Hot News Of The World, abc news, abc news tofd, abc special repot, breaking news, breaking…

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Fatah Official: Jerusalem Synagogue Attack – "Natural" Outcome of Israeli Actions – Video




Fatah Official: Jerusalem Synagogue Attack – “Natural” Outcome of Israeli Actions
In a November 19, 2014 interview with the Palestinian Authority's Al-Awda TV, Fatah Central Committee member Amal Hamad said: “It was only natural that the outcome of all that has happened…

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Fear of deadly religious war between Jews and Muslims raised after synagogue attack

Israel said it demolished the east Jerusalem home of a Palestinian involved in a deadly attack on a train stop from October. The demolition came a day after two Palestinians attacked a synagogue in Jerusalem. (AP)

JERUSALEM Israelis and Palestinians expressed fear Wednesday that their decades-old conflict was moving beyond the traditional nationalist struggle between two peoples fighting for their homelands and spiraling into a raw and far-reaching religious confrontation between Jews and Muslims.

The threat perhaps more accurately the dread of an incipient but deadly religious war was expressed by Muslim clerics, Christian leaders and Jewish Israelis one day after a pair of Palestinian assailants, wielding meat cleavers and a gun, killed five Israelis, including a prominent American Israeli rabbi, in a Jerusalem synagogue.

All of us are scared that there will be a religious war, that extremists from both sides will start fighting each other, said Oded Wiener, an Israeli Jew from the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land.

For weeks, Jerusalem has been a center of clashes, protests and deadly attacks that began over one of the citys major flash points a contested religious site known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount.

Jewish activists have been pressing the Israeli government to insist that Jews be allowed to pray on the raised esplanade, which also harbors the al-Aqsa mosque, the third-most holy site in Islam.

In the first and second Palestinian intifadas, or uprisings, attacks against Israelis were largely propelled by Palestinian political and militant factions and leaders. These days, security officials say most are carried out by so-called lone-wolf terrorists who dont belong to any organized group. In the past, Palestinian attackers often made clear that they wanted to end the Israeli occupation of what they consider their lands. Today, some relatives of Palestinian assailants suggest that the attacks are motivated only by perceived threats against al-Aqsa.

In a bid for calm Tuesday, Wiener and leaders from across the religious spectrum joined in a prayer meeting Wednesday at the synagogue where Tuesdays attack took place. Weiner said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had pressed for the gathering, which involved figures from each of Israels minority sects, including the Druze, Ahmadiyya, Circassian and Christian communities, as well as a leader of the Muslim groups in Israel.

But bitterness was also on display in the city. Sheik Mohammed Kiwan, head of the Union of Imams in Israel, who traveled to Jerusalem from the north of the country, tried to quiet tempers along the street outside the synagogue, whereneighbors and friends of those killed had gathered to pray. Young students of yeshivas Jewish religious schools confronted him, accusing him and all Muslims of inciting violence to kill Jews.

We condemn all acts of violence, Kiwan told them, remaining calm. This is a house of worship. It is irrelevant if it was a Muslim or a Jew that was killed here.

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Fear of deadly religious war between Jews and Muslims raised after synagogue attack

Jerusalem synagogue attack: Day later, site is symbol of faith, determination (+video)

Har Nof, Jerusalem Dov Sorotzkin was awakened Tuesday by gunfire between Palestinian assailants and Israeli police at his synagogue.

On Wednesday, he and his wife returned to their place of worship to celebrate their newborn sons brit mila, or circumcision.

He describes the ceremony as a symbol of the willingness to give oneself to God just as the four rabbis were doing when they were killed Tuesday morning here in Har Nof, an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of West Jerusalem.

We decided to do it today to show were not running away, says Mr. Sorotzkin, posing for happy photos with his wife and son, with bullet holes and policemen in the background. We give ourselves to God.

Indeed, the attack the deadliest in months of Israeli-Palestinian violence in the contested holy city has inspired not calls for revenge but a deep self-examination among ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) members of this community that see such tragedies as a sign from God. The imperative response for these devout Jews, as described to the Monitor, is to improve themselves and grow stronger in their faith something, they say, the Jewish people have been doing for thousands of years.

In honor of that, Sorotzkin named his son Eliyahu Meir after his great-grandfather Rabbi Eliyahu Meir Bloch, who fled Lithuania after his yeshiva was destroyed in the Holocaust and rebuilt a new yeshiva center in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Jewish people have suffered persecution throughout the ages, but they just draw strength from that, says Yosef Sorotzkin, Dovs father. This whole thing of rebirth is a constant in the Jewish history. Its in our belief, culture, religion, that we push forward.

Indeed, the study hall that saw such ugly scenes the day before was buzzing Wednesday, with men of all ages poring over rabbinic teachings in the Talmud and other religious works, some serious others engaged in lively debate, and some even smiling.

The attack by two Palestinian cousins from East Jerusalem armed with handguns, knives, and axes, in which an Israeli policeman and the attackers were also killed, follows a wave of violence touched off this summer with the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. The murder of a Palestinian teenager in revenge heightened tensions in Jerusalem and launched the city into the worst period of violence in nearly a decade.

Despite the increasing tempo of attacks over the past few weeks, the brutal attack on men at morning prayer was particularly shocking, with many saying the images of blood-stained prayer shawls evoked memories of the Holocaust or pogroms in Europe.

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Jerusalem synagogue attack: Day later, site is symbol of faith, determination (+video)

Jerusalem synagogue attack: 'Lone wolf' pattern seen in deadly assault

In the pious Har Nof neighborhood in the hills of West Jerusalem, early-morning prayers at a landmark synagogue are an integral part of the rhythm of daily religious life. Those who chose that time and place to strike seemed to know that.

Two attackers brandishing weapons including a handgun and a meat cleaver burst into the synagogue early Tuesday, killing four worshipers three of them with American citizenship, including a prominent rabbi, and the fourth a British national. As police officers converged on the scene within minutes, the assailants shot at least one of them before being slain. The officer later died, Israeli media reported.

The assailants were identified as Palestinian cousins from predominantly Arab East Jerusalem, a site of violence in recent months.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, describing the attackers as “animals,” vowed a harsh response to the killings, which he blamed on Palestinian incitement. The assault horrified Israelis, drew international condemnation and threatened to further inflame Jewish-Muslim tensions, which were already running high over a contested holy site in Jerusalem.

At least seven Israelis remained hospitalized in the wake of the attack, the deadliest in Jerusalem since 2008.

President Obama condemned the assault, saying “it is all the more important for Israeli and Palestinian leaders and ordinary citizens to work cooperatively together to lower tensions, reject violence and seek a path forward towards peace.”

The White House identified the slain Americans as Aryeh Kupinsky, Cary William Levine and Moshe Twersky, the latter a member of a noted Hasidic dynasty. Israeli news reports identified all four of the slain worshipers as rabbis, and the FBI said it was working in “close collaboration” with Israeli authorities on the case, given that three of the victims were U.S. citizens.

Tuesday’s violence appeared to fit a pattern of recent “lone wolf” attacks by Palestinians in part embittered by the dispute over the holy site, though it was somewhat more sophisticated and carried out by two people. Israeli officials have not suggested that the assaults were orchestrated by any particular group, but they have accused Palestinian leaders and media of encouraging the anger.

The men who carried out Tuesday’s attack, identified by authorities as Udai Abu Jamal and Ghassan Abu Jamal, “have no previous security records and did not operate within the framework of any organization,” Yoram Cohen, head of the domestic intelligence agency Shin Bet, told members of a parliamentary committee after the incident, the newspaper Haaretz reported.

Witnesses described panic and pandemonium during the storming of the synagogue, with the dead and wounded crumpling to the floor, still clutching sacred texts. A 12-year-old boy whose father was seriously wounded crawled on the bloodied floor to escape and summon help.

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Israel vs Palestine: Temple Mount, the epicenter of conflict between Jews and Muslims – Video




Israel vs Palestine: Temple Mount, the epicenter of conflict between Jews and Muslims
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Palestinian attackers kill 5 at Jerusalem synagogue, including 3 Americans

JERUSALEM The gruesome slaying of five Israelis at a synagogue early Tuesday left many residents of this city fearing that the worst is still to come, as Jerusalem descends deeper into a cycle of terror attacks and violent protest over its religious sites.

Many Israelis were especially stunned by the sense of violation created by the attack, in which two Palestinians armed with cleavers and a gun stormed a synagogue in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of West Jerusalem and killed four rabbis: a Briton and three Americans, including a member of two of Orthodox Judaisms most prominent families.

Late Tuesday, an Israeli police officer who rushed to the scene died of wounds suffered in the attack, and Israeli forces threatened to begin demolishing the family homes of Palestinians who have attacked Israelis. The Palestinian assailants, cousins from majority-Arab East Jerusalem, were killed at the scene by police.

Photographs of the attacks aftermath, released by the Israeli government, showed prayer shawls, an open prayer book and the arm of one of the four rabbis, wrapped in scripture-laden tefillin, lying in pools of blood.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday night accused Palestinian leaders of inciting the violence and committing blood libel by suggesting that Jews were responsible for the death this week of a Palestinian bus driver who Israeli police say committed suicide by hanging.

Two Palestinian men allegedly killed four people with axes and knives inside a synagogue in Jerusalem early Tuesday, before police shot them dead. The attack happened in an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of West Jerusalem. (Reuters)

Tuesday evening, Netanyahu ordered the destruction of the East Jerusalem homes of those linked to recent attacks. Seven Israelis have been killed in recent weeks as Palestinians rammed a car into passengers awaiting a Jerusalem Light Rail train and slashed people with knives at a bus stop in the West Bank and at a train station in Tel Aviv.

The home-razing tactic was common a decade ago, but Israel has rarely used it in recent years. Netanyahu said Tuesday the demolitions are an effective deterrent against further attacks.

This is a battle over Jerusalem, he said in a nationally televised address, insisting that Israelis would never give up their claims to the contested city. Palestinians want East Jerusalem, which is annexed and occupied by Israel, to be the capital of any future Palestinian state.

The Palestinian Authoritys president, Mahmoud Abbas, denounced Tuesdays slayings and said such attacks violate all religious principles and do not serve the common interest we are trying to promote establishing a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel.

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Palestinian attackers kill 5 at Jerusalem synagogue, including 3 Americans

Worshippers dead after violent attack on Jerusalem synagogue

JERUSALEM Two Palestinians stormed a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, attacking worshippers praying inside with knives, axes and guns, and killing four people before they were killed in a shootout with police, officials said.

The attack was the deadliest in Jerusalem in years and is bound to ratchet up fears of sustained violence in the city, already on edge amid soaring tensions over a contested holy site.

Israeli police described the assault as a terrorist attack and said the two assailants were apparently Palestinians from east Jerusalem. Hamas, the militant Palestinian group that runs the Gaza Strip, praised the Jerusalem attack but stopped short of claiming responsibility.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said six people were also wounded in the attack, including two police officers. He said police were searching the area for other suspects.

Associated Press footage from the scene showed the synagogue, in Jerusalems ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighborhood, surrounded by police and rescue workers following the attack.

Wounded worshippers were being assisted by paramedics and a bloodied butchers knife lay near the scene of the attack.

I tried to escape. The man with the knife approached me. There was a chair and table between us my prayer shawl got caught. I left it there and escaped, Yossi, who was praying at the synagogue at the time of the attack, told Israeli Channel 2 TV. He declined to give his last name.

Police spokeswoman Lubi Samri said the attackers were Palestinians from east Jerusalem, which has been the scene of relentless clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters in recent months.

The attack comes amid spiking tensions in Jerusalem, which has seen a spate of attacks by Palestinians against Israelis. At least six people have been killed in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Tel Aviv in recent weeks, prior to Tuesdays casualties.

Jerusalem residents have already been fearful of what appeared to be lone wolf attacks using cars or knives against pedestrians. But Tuesdays early morning attack on a synagogue harkens back to the gruesome attacks during the Palestinian uprising of the last decade.

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Worshippers dead after violent attack on Jerusalem synagogue

4 Killed In Jerusalem Synagogue Attack, Israeli Police Say

Two Palestinians stormed a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, attacking worshippers praying inside with knives, axes and guns, and killing four. Police killed the attackers in a shootout.

The attack was the deadliest in Jerusalem in years and is bound to ratchet up fears of sustained violence in the city, already on edge amid soaring tensions over a contested holy site.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said six people were also wounded in the attack, including two police officers. He said police were searching the area for other suspects.

Israeli TV footage showed the synagogue, in Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighborhood, surrounded by police and rescue workers following the attack.

“I tried to escape. The man with the knife approached me. There was a chair and table between us … my prayer shawl got caught. I left it there and escaped,” Yossi, who was praying at the synagogue at the time of the attack, told Israeli Channel 2 TV. He declined to give his last name.

Police spokeswoman Lubi Samri said the attackers were Palestinians from east Jerusalem, which has been the scene of relentless clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters in recent months.

The attack comes amid spiking tensions in Jerusalem, which has seen a spate of attacks by Palestinians against Israelis. At least six people have been killed in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Tel Aviv in recent weeks, prior to Tuesday’s casualties.

Jerusalem residents have already been fearful of what appeared to be lone wolf attacks using cars or knives against pedestrians. But Tuesday’s early morning attack on a synagogue harkens back to the gruesome attacks during the Palestinian uprising of the last decade.

Tensions appeared to have been somewhat defused last week following a meeting by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Jordan. The meeting was an attempt to restore calm after months of violent confrontations surrounding a sacred shrine holy to both Jews and Muslims.

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4 Killed In Jerusalem Synagogue Attack, Israeli Police Say

Four dead in suspected Palestinian attack on Jerusalem synagogue

Jerusalem synagogue attacked

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Two suspected Palestinian men armed with axes and knives killed four people in a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday before being shot dead by police, Israeli police and emergency services said, the deadliest such attack in the city in years.

The attack took place shortly after dawn in an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of West Jerusalem. Pictures posted by an Israeli army spokesman on the Internet showed a man in a Jewish prayer shawl lying dead, a bloodied butcher’s cleaver discarded on the floor and overturned prayer tables.

“We are viewing this as a terrorist attack,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. Israel’s ambulance service said at least eight people were seriously wounded.

Ronen Zvulun/REUTERS Israeli police officers hold weapons near the scene of an attack at a Jerusalem synagogue, Nov. 18, 2014.

Police said at least one of the assailants was from East Jerusalem, the predominantly Palestinian side of the city.

Palestinian radio reports described the attackers as “martyrs” and the Islamist group Hamas praised the attack. Loudspeakers at mosques in Gaza called out congratulations.

“Hamas calls for the continuation of revenge operations and stresses that the Israeli occupation bears responsibility for tension in Jerusalem,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the attack on both Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who he accused of urging Palestinians towards violence.

Ronen Zvulun/REUTERS Israeli security personnel run next to a synagogue, where a suspected Palestinian attack took place, in Jerusalem, November 18, 2014. Up to five people were killed on Tuesday in the attack by two men armed with axes and knives, Israeli media reported.

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Four dead in suspected Palestinian attack on Jerusalem synagogue

4 Israeli civilians killed in Jerusalem synagogue attack

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

Jerusalem (CNN) — Two knife- and axe-wielding Palestinian men broke into a Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday morning and killed four Israeli worshipers, Israeli police said.

Police responded and shot and killed the attackers, spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told CNN. Authorities said the men were cousins who came from East Jerusalem and also had a handgun.

Six others were wounded during the attack in the Har Nof area of West Jerusalem, including two responding police officers, Rosenfeld said.

Later on Tuesday, Israeli security forces moved into the slain attackers’ neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber and clashed with residents, arresting nine people, police said. No details were available on the charges.

“We’re continuing to search the neighborhood to make sure there are any further terrorists, Rosenfeld said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summoned top aides to a “security consultation” later Tuesday in Jerusalem, his office announced.

“We will respond with a heavy hand to the brutal murder of Jews who came to pray and were met by reprehensible murderers,” Netanyahu’s office posted on his official Twitter page.

“This is the direct result of incitement being led by Hamas & Abu Mazen (a reference to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas), incitement which the international community is irresponsibly ignoring,” he added.

A Hamas spokesman said the attack was a response to the death of a Palestinian bus driver under disputed circumstances. But Hamas did not claim responsibility for the Jerusalem attack Tuesday.

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4 Israeli civilians killed in Jerusalem synagogue attack