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

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Israeli rescue workers carry a body at the scene of a shooting attack in a Synagogue in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. 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. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Israeli rescue workers carry a body at the scene of a shooting attack in a Synagogue in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. 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. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

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An Israeli policeman stands on the roof as Ultra Orthodox Jewish men watch the scene next to a synagogue, where a suspected Palestinian attack took place on November 18, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Four Israelis have been killed and several others wounded in a terror attack this morning in a synagogue in the western Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. Two Palestinian assailants were killed at the scene by police.  (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

An Israeli policeman stands on the roof as Ultra Orthodox Jewish men watch the scene next to a synagogue, where a suspected Palestinian attack took place on November 18, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Four Israelis have been killed and several others wounded in a terror attack this morning in a synagogue in the western Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. Two Palestinian assailants were killed at the scene by police. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

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 Israeli emergency personnel take out a body of an Israeli man outside a synagogue on November 18, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Four Israelis have been killed and several others wounded in a terror attack this morning in a synagogue in the western Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. Two Palestinian assailants were killed at the scene by police.  (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

Israeli emergency personnel take out a body of an Israeli man outside a synagogue on November 18, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Four Israelis have been killed and several others wounded in a terror attack this morning in a synagogue in the western Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. Two Palestinian assailants were killed at the scene by police. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

Getty Images

 Ultra Orthodox Jewish men watch the scene next to a synagogue, where a suspected Palestinian attack took place on November 18, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Four Israelis have been killed and several others wounded in a terror attack this morning in a synagogue in the western Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. Two Palestinian assailants were killed at the scene by police.  (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

Ultra Orthodox Jewish men watch the scene next to a synagogue, where a suspected Palestinian attack took place on November 18, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Four Israelis have been killed and several others wounded in a terror attack this morning in a synagogue in the western Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. Two Palestinian assailants were killed at the scene by police. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Israeli emergency personnel take out a body of an Israeli man outside a synagogue on November 18, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Four Israelis have been killed and several others wounded in a terror attack this morning in a synagogue in the western Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. Two Palestinian assailants were killed at the scene by police.  (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

Israeli emergency personnel take out a body of an Israeli man outside a synagogue on November 18, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Four Israelis have been killed and several others wounded in a terror attack this morning in a synagogue in the western Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. Two Palestinian assailants were killed at the scene by police. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Israeli rescue workers clean blood from the scene of a shooting attack in a Synagogue in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. 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.  (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Israeli rescue workers clean blood from the scene of a shooting attack in a Synagogue in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. 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. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

AP

Israeli rescue workers carry a body at the scene of a shooting attack in a Synagogue in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. 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. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

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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