Two Palestinian men murdered four Jewish worshippers with a meat cleaver, knives and a pistol in a gruesome attack at a synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem Tuesday morning. Eight others were wounded, four seriously. The two attackers were shot dead by Israeli police in a firefight at the scene.
Update: A police officer succumbed to his wounds late Tuesday night, bringing the death toll to five.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu quickly put out a statement blaming Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas, pointing to what he described as their incitement. For his part, Abbas quickly condemned the attack.
According to Palestinian and Israeli media, the attackers were from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber. When their identity became known, residents said, Israeli police closed the entrance to the neighborhood with concrete blocks.
Police were reportedly using the “Skunk” truck to spray putrid water near the attackers’ families’ homes, along with other crowd dispersal means as clashes broke out. Police arrested 12 relatives of the attackers, according to Ma’an, and a number of others were injured.
The attack against the synagogue came a day after a Palestinian bus driver was found hanged inside his bus. Israeli authorities ruled his death a suicide but Palestinians officials and media contend he was murdered by Israelis.