The Hamas terrorist organization on Sunday condemned a weekend massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue, claiming that as Palestinian victims of Israeli “terror,” the group relates to the shattered Pennsylvania Jewish community’s pain.
US authorities said 46-year-old Robert Bowers killed eight men and three women inside the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday during worship services, before a tactical police team shot and wounded him. Bowers faces state and federal charges.
In a statement, top Hamas official Basem Naim said the group was “sorry to hear about the terror attack.”
“As Palestinians and victims of the terror of Israeli occupation, we know the meaning of terror and its horrific outcomes,” Naim said.
“This heinous attack, especially in a place of worship, proves that terror has no religion or nationality,” he added.
Gaza ruler Hamas is a sworn enemy of Israel, seeks the destruction of the Jewish state, and stands behind countless terrorist attacks that have claimed the lives of Israeli civilians.
The terrorist group in the past welcomed the November 2014 massacre of four Jewish worshipers and one Druze police officer in a terror attack in a Jerusalem synagogue, and cheered the November 2015 killing of two Jewish Israelis in a Tel Aviv prayer space during a terror attack.
Officials released the names of all 11 victims from the Pittsburgh shooting during a news conference Sunday, all of them middle-aged or elderly. The victims of synagogue included a pair of brothers and a husband and wife. Six others were injured.
Dr. Karl Williams, chief medical examiner for Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County, named the victims as Joyce Feinberg, 75; Richard Gottfried, 65; Rose Mallinger, 97; Jerry Rabinowitz, 66; Cecil Rosenthal, 59; David Rosenthal, 54; Bernice Simon, 84; Sylvan Simon, 86; Daniel Stein, 71; Melvin Wax, 88; and Irving Younger, 69.
David and Cecil Rosenthal were brothers, who were developmentally disabled. Bernice and Sylvan Simon were husband and wife.
Earlier on Sunday, the Palestinian Authority Foreign Ministry condemned the deadly shooting attack calling it “a terrorist act.”
“The Foreign Ministry condemns this terrorist act that targeted a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh,” the PA Foreign Ministry said in a statement published by the official PA news agency Wafa. “The ministry condemns the targeting of places of worship by these terrorists who hold fascist and rotten beliefs based on the supremacy and dominance of white people.”
The PA Foreign Ministry said that it stood in solidarity with the American people and offered its condolences to the families of the victims.
The suspected gunman reportedly yelled “All Jews must die” as he entered the synagogue and began firing. He engaged in a shootout with responding police officers and barricaded himself inside the building before surrendering.