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Jerusalem synagogue attack: 'Terrorists with knives and axes' kill worshippers at Har Nof temple

Police say they shot and killed both suspects at the scene

By Heather Saul

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to "respond with a heavy hand" after at least four people were killed and eight injured in what Israeli police described as a "terrorist" attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem.

Mr Netanyahu condemned Tuesday's violence as a "cruel murder of Jews who came to pray and were killed by despicable murderers”. He blamed the attack on Hamas and Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas.

President Abbas denounced the bloodshed in a statement, saying: "The presidency condemns the attack on Jewish worshippers in their place of prayer and condemns the killing of civilians no matter who is doing it."

Writing on Twitter, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said officers shot both suspects dead after they entered the synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood armed with knives and axes and attacked worshippers.Israeli TV footage showed the synagogue surrounded by police and rescue workers and the surrounding area cordoned off.

The violence comes amid high tensions in the city, with a wave of attacks killing at least six people in recent weeks.

Two weeks ago, a Palestinian driver was shot dead by Israeli police after ramming his car into a crowd at a tram stop in East Jerusalem, killing a border policeman and wounding 13 others.

A Palestinian bus driver was found hanging in his vehicle in a Jewish part of Jerusalem late Sunday, which was ruled a suicide by an inquest.

His relatives insisted that Yousef al-Ramouni, 32, was murdered because he was Arab.

Hamas praised the attack but did not directly claim responsibility for it. In a statement, it said it was a "response to continued Israeli crimes, the killing, desecrating al-Aqsa (mosque)”.

Source: Independent

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