Jerusalem Synagogue Terror Attack: 4 Rabbis Killed, Attackers Shot Dead at Scene

by Christian Examiner, |

Four rabbis were killed in an attack on a West Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday morning, according to reports. Two Palestinian assailants entered the temple in the ultra-orthodox Har Nof neighborhood and brutalized those praying inside with knives, axes and a pistol, leaving four people dead and eight others wounded.

The body of a victim is carried from the scene at a West Jerusalem synagogue on Nov. 18, 2014. | Reuters

Three of the four rabbis who were killed were dual U.S.-Israeli citizens, while the fourth had citizenship in Israel and the U.K. The bodies of Rabbi Moshe Twersky, Rabbi Cary Levine, Rabbi Avraham Goldberg and Rabbi Aryeh Kopinsky were found inside the synagogue. Five survivors were transported to Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem and the other three were taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, reported.

The Palestinian attackers were killed at the scene by local authorities in a shootout.

"Jerusalem bows its head in pain and sorrow on this difficult morning. Jerusalem residents peacefully praying ... were slaughtered in cold blood," said Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to decry the assailants' actions as "charged with hatred against the Jewish people and their state."

"This is the direct result of the incitement being led by Hamas and Abu Mazen, incitement which the international community is irresponsibly ignoring," he said, adding that Israel would respond with a "heavy hand."

Netanyahu also ordered the demolition of the attackers' homes, though their names were not released, according to NBC News.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is also known as Abu Mazen, condemned the attack as well.

"The Palestinian presidency has always condemned the killing of civilians on both sides, and condemns today the killing of worshipers in a house of worship in West Jerusalem," he said in a statement. However, he also called for Israeli "provocations" around a holy site to end.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas, praised the violence.