Hamas and Islamic Jihad hailed a Tuesday attack on a Jerusalem synagogue which killed four Israelis, saying it was in reaction to the death of a Palestinian bus driver.
Four people were killed in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood when two Palestinian assailants attacked worshipers at morning prayers with a meat cleaver, an ax and a gun.
“The operation in Jerusalem is a response to the murder of the martyr Yusuf Ramouni and to the series of crimes by the occupier at Al-Aqsa and Hamas calls to continue these operations,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement. “Hamas calls for more operations like it,” he added
Islamic Jihad echoed the comments in a separate statement.
“Islamic Jihad salutes the operation in Jerusalem which is a natural response to the crimes of the occupier,” it said.
Hamas was referring to a bus driver from East Jerusalem who was found hanged inside his vehicle late on Sunday. An Israeli autopsy established that he committed suicide, and police said there were no signs of foul play — findings rejected by his family.
The two terrorists in the synagogue attack, cousins from East Jerusalem, were killed by police at the scene.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the assault on incitement from the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
“This is the direct result of the incitement being led by Hamas and Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas], incitement which the international community is irresponsibly ignoring,” he said in a statement.