CMEP Bulletin: Synagogue Attacked as Violence Intensifies
Weekly update from Churches for Middle East Peace
On Tuesday, November 18, two Palestinians armed with knives, axes and guns entered a synagogue in West Jerusalem during morning prayers, killing five and injuring several others. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) claimed responsibility, saying the attackers were its members. Hamas also took credit for the terrorism, having earlier called for vengeance after the death of a bus driver on Sunday.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas immediately condemned “the attack on Jewish worshippers in one of their places of prayer in West Jerusalem” and “the killing of civilians no matter who is doing it.” Secretary Kerry called the murders “pure terror”. President Obama condemned the killings and called for Israeli and Palestinian leaders and ordinary citizens to work cooperatively to lower tensions, reject violence, and work for peace.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said the attack was “a direct result of the incitement lead by Hamas and Abu Mazen (Abbas), incitement that the international community irresponsibly ignores.” Earlier Abbas had said Palestinians will not allow Israeli settlers and extremists to “contaminate” Al-Aqsa (Temple Mount), and allowing Jewish prayer at the site would lead to a religious war.