— by Michael Thaidigsmann
At least four people, including a rabbi, were killed and more than a dozen others wounded when two Arab terrorists burst into the synagogue during morning prayers and attacked worshipers with a gun, a meat cleaver and an ax.
President Obama referred to the fact that three of the victims were Americans in his statement:
I strongly condemn today’s terrorist attack on worshipers at a synagogue in Jerusalem, which killed four innocent people, including U.S. citizens Aryeh Kupinsky, Cary William Levine, and Mosheh Twersky, and injured several more. There is and can be no justification for such attacks against innocent civilians. The thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the victims and families of all those who were killed and injured in this horrific attack and in other recent violence. 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.
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) president, Ronald Lauder, said the bloodbath in the Kehilat Bnei Torah Synagogue in Har Nof was “obviously the result of an orchestrated campaign by Palestinian groups whose sole aim is to incite to hatred against Jews.”
Lauder welcomed the Palestinian Authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas’ condemnation of the attack, but said that in order to be credible Abbas had to stop the “vicious incitement against Israelis that is happening on his watch”:
Instead of opposing the extremists in his own ranks, Mr. Abbas has been placating them. If he wants to retain any credibility he must show strong, unequivocal leadership now. Failure to do so would have catastrophic consequences and would probably put a stop to the peace process for many years to come. The next weeks will show if he is a credible Palestinian leader.
The WJC president called it “an outrage” that houses of prayer were now being deliberately targeted by Palestinian terrorists:
Houses of worship anywhere in the world must be sacrosanct. Whoever attacks peaceful worshipers in a synagogue, a mosque or a church is nothing but a despicable criminal.
The two perpetrators were killed by police officers arriving at the scene. It was the deadliest terror attack in Jerusalem in many years.
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