Five people were killed early Tuesday morning when two Palestinian assailants entered a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood, armed with guns and knives. The dead were four Jewish worshipers, and a Druze policeman who died of his wounds hours after he was shot in the gunfight that ended the attack. The two terrorists, from East Jerusalem, were killed. Condemnation over the attack poured in from Israeli and international leaders, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, blamed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for inciting terrorism against Israel. The Times of Israel liveblogged developments through Tuesday.
Four killed in terror attack on Jerusalem synagogue
PREAMBLE: Four people were killed, including one policeman, in a terror attack at a synagogue in a Jerusalem neighborhood this morning.
Police said two attackers from East Jerusalem entered the synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood at 7 a.m. and began attacking worshipers at morning prayers with a gun, a meat cleaver, and an ax.
Both terrorists were killed by police within seven minutes.
Israel Police said there were six injured, including two policemen, one of whom was seriously injured, and another moderately hurt.
A man who prays at the synagogue told The Times of Israel that one of the victims was American, and another British. That report has not yet been confirmed.
The attack occurred at the Kehilat Yaakov synagogue, located in a religious institution which includes a study hall.
One of the worshipers said the two terrorists shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the attack, and entered the synagogue without their faces covered.
Photos taken from inside the synagogue after the attack showed bloodied male worshipers lying on the floor, still wrapped in their prayer shawls and phylacteries.
“I tried to escape. The man with the knife approached me. There was a chair and table between us … my prayer shawl got caught. I left it there and escaped,” Yossi, who was praying at the synagogue at the time of the attack, told Channel 2 TV. He declined to give his last name.
A witness, identified only as Zohar, said there was panic at the scene.
“I heard shooting and one of the worshipers came out covered in blood and shouted ‘There’s a massacre,’” he said.
Both attackers were from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, Channel 2 reported. Clashes between residents and security forces broke out in the neighborhood.
According to Israel Radio’s Gal Berger, Palestinian sources said the attackers were cousins, named Said Abu Jamal and Uday Abu Jamal.
Initial reports indicated the two were affiliated with the Marxist-Leninist terrorist group People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad hailed the attack, saying it was in reaction to the death of a Palestinian bus driver.
In a statement, the Islamist Hamas movement, which dominates Gaza, said it was “a response to the murder of the martyr Yusuf Ramouni.” It was referring to the bus driver from East Jerusalem who was found hanged inside his vehicle late on Sunday in an incident Israeli police described as suicide but which a colleague said looked like murder.
One of the terrorists worked in a corner store near the synagogue, Channel 2 reported.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will convene security consultations around noon, his office said.
“This is the direct result of the incitement led by Hamas and Abu Mazen,” he said, referring to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. “Incitement that the international community irresponsibly ignores.”
“We will respond with a strong hand to the cruel murder of Jews who came to pray, and were caught by dark murderous hands,” promised Netanyahu.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon called an emergency meeting in the wake of the attack.
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Israel Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino arrived at the scene, and were heckled by bystanders, who yelled, “Go home!”
Crowds at the scene recited Psalms, while others chanted, “Death to terrorists!”
The ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighborhood where the attack occurred sits at the Western edge of Jerusalem and has been mostly shielded from the violence that has wracked the city in recent weeks.
Abbas condemns attack
PA President Mahmoud Abbas condemns the Har Nof synagogue attack, as well as all violence against civilians.
In the same statement Abbas also condemned attacks on the al-Aqsa Mosque and incitement by Israeli ministers.
The PA president’s office added that this was the time to end the occupation and implement a two-state solution.
Rabbi Moshe Twersky identified as Har Nof victim
Rabbi Moshe Twersky, the head of Torat Moshe yeshiva, was one of Israelis killed in the attack.
He will be buried at Jerusalem’s Har Hamenuchot cemetery at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Twersky was the elder son of Rabbi Isadore Twersky of Boston, and a grandson of Modern Orthodox luminary Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.
Hamas urges Jerusalem Arabs to attack
Hamas is urging Arabs in Jerusalem to take knives, cars, tractors, and whatever they have at hand, to carry out attacks, Channel 10 reports.
German FM says he’s ‘deeply shocked’
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says he was “deeply shocked” by the news from Jerusalem. “That houses of worship are become scenes for deadly attack on innocent believers is a terrible crossing of a line in an already extremely tense situation,” he says in Kiev.
“I was in Jerusalem only a few days ago and could feel how tense atmosphere there is,” Steimeier adds. “What has now happened is a tragedy. I hope that this is now also a loud wake-up call. The tensions can quickly lead to a violent outburst.”
Mixing the many unresolved issues in this region with “religious confrontation” gives this already serious conflict another dangerous dimension, he says.
— Raphael Ahren
Police identify car attackers used
Channel 10 shows a white sedan used by the two terrorists to travel from their East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber to Har Nof.
At least one of the attackers worked in a grocery store near the targeted synagogue and knew the area well.
Youths throw rocks at police in Jabel Mukaber
Police say dozens of youths threw rocks and other objects at police in Jabel Mukaber, the Jerusalem neighborhood where the two men who carried out the deadly attack lived.
Police make nine arrests and use riot dispersal measures against the crowd.
Kerry blames Palestinian incitement
After a telephone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Secretary of State John Kerry condemns the attack, calling it the direct result of Palestinian incitement and calls for days of rage.
He adds that Americans’ hearts go out to the victims of the attack, and “all the reminders of history that go with it.”
Kerry also calls Abbas, thanking him for condemning the attack. Abbas tells him that Netanyahu’s policies had not helped calm tensions in Jerusalem, Channel 10 reports.
Kerry expresses concern over a further deterioration in the situation.
Witness says victims were shot point-blank
Yaakov Amos, a resident of the Har Nof neighborhood in Jerusalem, stands outside the Kehilat Bnei Torah synagogue and describes this morning’s attack.
He says he was just completing the prayer for peace at the end of the Amidah prayer when he heard gunshots. He turned around, he says, and “saw a Jew wrapped in a prayer shawl on the floor.”
Amos describes crouching down behind the wooden stand used to hold his prayer book and seeing one of the two terrorists racing up to the congregants and “shooting them at point-blank range.”
Another eye witness, Joseph Pasternak, a father of eight originally from Argentina, says he saw both terrorists run past him and that one of the congregants was able to throw a chair at the terrorist wielding the firearm but not to disable him.
He describes stumbling out of the synagogue, filled with roughly 30 congregants during the early-morning prayer service, which began at 6:25, and taking cover in a utility closet until the police arrived on the scene.
— Mitch Ginsburg
Attackers said to be from PFLP
Palestinian media reports that the two cousins who carried out the attack, Uday and Ghassan Abu Jamal, were members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group.
An official for the group is quoted by the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency saying that these attacks need to be better coordinated.
The group was responsible for dozens of attacks in the 1980s and 90s as well as during the Second Intifada, but has mostly fallen silent in the past several years.
There is as of yet no claim of responsibility for the synagogue attack.
France, Germany condemn attack
France and Germany both condemn the terror attack, Channel 10 reports.
French President Francois Hollande also sends condolences to the families of the victims.
Wiesenthal Center urges end to PA funding
The Simon Wiesenthal Center calls for the US and EU to stop funding to the PA until incitement against Jews stops.
“These attacks with knives, axes, guns, and cars by Palestinians are not senseless but calculated and part of an ongoing terror campaign against Jews that have involved members of terror groups and which have been lauded by the Palestinian Authority,” rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, Dean and Founder and Associate Dean write in a statement.
“Too many Western politicians, instead of unequivocally condemning the growing wave of terror, in effect reward those who promote and celebrate murderers, by using their parliamentary positions to endorse a non-existent Palestinian state and other diplomatic and material support for the Palestinian cause.”
Norway FM calls Liberman, condemns attack
Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende phones his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Liberman, in the wake of the terror attack in Har Nof.
“Norway strongly condemns today’s terror attack in synagogue in Jerusalem,” Oslo’s embassy in Tel Aviv tweets.
US ambassador calls attack ‘pure evil’
Today’s terrorist attack in Har Nof in Jerusalem “represents a barbaric new low in the sad and outrageous history of such attacks,” the US ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, says. “Murdering worshippers at prayer in a synagogue is an act of pure, unadulterated evil.”
Writing on his Facebook profile, Shapiro condemns the attack “in the strongest possible terms” on behalf of the American government and people. “There is no possible justification for such an act of violence. Beyond the terrorists who were killed by police responding to the attack, any others involved must be held responsible and brought to justice.”
Without mentioning Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas by name, Shapiro writes that anyone “who places a claim to responsible leadership must clearly condemn this outrage and any acts of incitement that can inspire events like these.”
— Raphael Ahren
‘People were trying to fight but didn’t have a chance’
Wounded worshipers were being assisted by paramedics as a bloodied butcher’s knife lay near the scene of the attack.
“I tried to escape. The man with the knife approached me. There was a chair and table between us … my prayer shawl got caught. I left it there and escaped,” Yossi, who was praying at the synagogue at the time of the attack, told Israeli Channel 2 TV. He declined to give his last name.
Yosef Posternak, who was at the synagogue at the time of the attack, told Israel Radio that some 25 worshipers were inside when the attackers entered.
“I saw people lying on the floor, blood everywhere. People were trying to fight with (the attackers) but they didn’t have much of a chance,” he said.
“There were people running from the synagogue, and a man sitting on the pavement covered in blood, it looked like he had been stabbed,” said local resident Sarah Abrahams, who was walking past when it happened.
“Two people came out with their faces half missing, looking like they’d been attacked with knives,” she said as hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews pressed up against the police tape, a few chanting “Death to terrorists.”
Fighting back tears, Moshe Eliezer said he had narrowly avoided being at the scene after oversleeping.
“This is a yeshiva community. Ninety percent don’t serve in the army. We’re not violent,” he said.
— AP, AFP
UK’s Cameron says he’s ‘appalled’ by attack
British Prime Minister David Cameron says he is “appalled by today’s horrific attack on worshipers at a Jerusalem synagogue.”
Australian envoy says attack ‘barbaric’
The Australian ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma, condemns “the especially vicious terrorist attack on worshipers in Jerusalem synagogue,” calling it “cruel and barbaric.”
— Raphael Ahren
Doctors trying to save policeman’s life
Doctors are battling to save the life of a policeman who was critically wounded in the exchange of gunfire with terrorists at synagogue.
Both terrorists were killed.
Arab MKs say only talks can end violence
The heads of Arab parties in the Knesset release a joint statement condemning the attack, the Ynet news site reported.
Hadash MK Muhammad Barake, Ra’am-Ta’al MK Ibrahim Sarsur, and Balad MK Jamal Zahalke also emphasize that the cycle of violence can only end with serious negotiations.
They also pointed fingers at Netanyahu for creating a situation in which there is no hope for a political solution.
Har Nof supermarket sends Arab workers home for their safety
The Rami Levi supermarket in Har Nof sent all of its Arab workers home after the attack, fearing attacks on innocent Arabs by vigilantes. A grocery store in the neighborhood says that an Arab worker ran away when he heard about the attack, fearing revenge.
All of the corner stores in Har Nof deny that one of the attackers worked there.
‘A religious war can’t be solved’ – Livni
Tzipi Livni tells Army Radio that she has long feared that is a becoming a religious war. “And a religious war cannot be solved.”
CNN calls incident ‘mosque attack’
In a likely gaffe, a CNN graphic called the Har Nof synagogue terrorist attack a “deadly attack on Jerusalem Mosque,” according to the HonestReporting media watchdog site.
Footage of gunfight emerges
Video footage emerged after the attack showing police officers firing at the terrorists.
Both attackers were killed.
European pols decry synagogue attack
Condemnations of the Har Nof synagogue attack continue to pour in from leading politicians across Europe.
“I’m horrified by the barbaric attack on the synagogue in Jerusalem — an appalling act of terrorism to be totally condemned,” tweets Ed Miliband, the leader of the British Labour party and a leading candidate for prime minister in the upcoming national elections.
My thoughts are with the families of the victims and people of the holy city.
— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) November 18, 2014
Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard strongly condemns the attack. “Our thoughts go out to the victims and their relatives,” he tweets. His Austrian counterpart Sebastian Kurz posts a similar message, adding that he sees in the attack a “clear need to restart” the peace process.
Margot Wallström, the foreign minister of Sweden – the first Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state – condemns the “horrific terrorist attack on Israeli worshipers in Jerusalem.” On her Twitter account, she writes: “The spiral of violence must be stopped.”
9 arrested in Jabel Mukaber
Clashes break out in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber after security forces close in on the homes of the two residents who carried out the terror attack in Har Nof.
Nine residents are arrested, Haaretz reports, as police use tear gas and other riot dispersal methods. Police have also entered the flashpoint Silwan neighborhood in the capital.
In the West Bank, around 50 Israelis face off against around 200 Palestinians near the settlement of Yitzhar, with both sides hurling stones at each other.
Police at the scene fire tear gas to break up the fight.
PFLP terror group claims responsibility
Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, claims responsibility for the attack in a statement this morning, calling the attack a “normal reaction to the crimes of the occupation.”
The claim was posted on the movement’s Facebook page and disseminated via social media.
— Elhanan Miller
Palestinians must oppose incitement — Kerry
Speaking in London ahead of talks with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, US Secretary of State John Kerry calls on the Palestinian leadership to denounce the attack.
“Our hearts go out for all Israelis for the atrocity of this event and for all the reminders of history that come with it,” Kerry tells reporters.
“People who have come to worship God in a sanctuary of a synagogue were… murdered in a holy place in an act of pure terror and senseless brutality and murder.
“I call on the Palestinian leadership at every single level to condemn this in the most powerful terms… and take serious steps to restrain any kind of incitement,” he adds.
“This violence has no place anywhere, particularly after the discussion that we had just the other day in Amman,” Kerry says, referring to a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
A US official traveling with Kerry says that the secretary of state had called Abbas, urging him to ease tensions.
Patrols to increase near mosques, synagogues
After a meeting called by Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino, police raise the threat level to one notch below the highest designation.
Danino also said that patrols around mosques, synagogues, and holy sites would be enhanced.
EU foreign policy chief blames lack of talks
The attack in the Har Nof synagogue this morning “can only harm any step forward toward peace,” the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, says. “It is an act of terror against worshipers at morning prayers and is condemnable by all means.”
Mogherini calls on all leaders in the Middle East to “work together and do their utmost to immediately calm down the situation and prevent further escalation.” She invites all sides “to refrain from any action that would worsen the situation by way of incitement, provocation, use of force or retaliation. I utterly condemn all statements calling for or praising such attacks.”
Lack of progress in efforts to achieve a two-state solution will “systematically ensure the next round of violence,” adds Mogherini, who visited Israel and the Palestinian territories over the weekend. “The time has come for both sides to make compromises, promote stability and ensure long-term security for both Israelis and Palestinians.”
Both Israeli and Palestinian leaders are responsible for the urgent restart of peace talks, she says. “The absence of a credible political framework is used instrumentally and leads to further hardening of ideological and religious stands.”
— Raphael Ahren
First responder describes ‘pool of blood’
A Zaka first responder from Har Nof says Tuesday’s incident was “the worst attack since Mercaz Harav,” referring to the 2008 attack on a yeshiva. He says there was a long pool of blood down the hallway, and he walked into the shul and saw the men in their blood-soaked prayer shawls and phylacteries.
Another volunteer, named Yisrael, said it was “utterly, utterly chilling” and was one of the most gruesome attacks he’s seen.
— Marissa Newman
BBC tells Bennett not to show victim’s picture
A BBC interviewer asked Jewish Home head Naftali Bennett during an interview not to hold up a picture of a Har Nof synagogue attack victim.
“Sir, uh, we don’t want to actually see that picture,” said the interviewer. “If you can take that down.”
“I will never stop,” Bennett promised on his Facebook page.
Witness says worshiper’s arm was hacked off
Bloomberg reports that a Zaka volunteer named Chaim Weingarten related that the attackers cut off the arm of a worshiper who was wearing phylacteries, or tefillin, a ritual object worn by Jews during morning prayers.
Second victim identified
The name of a second victim is released — 40-year-old Aryeh Kupinsky of Jerusalem.
His funeral procession will set out from Har Nof at 3:00 p.m.
Abbas calls urgent security meeting
PA President Mahmoud Abbas calls a meeting of his “inner security cabinet,” including Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, for an urgent consultation following the morning’s terror attack in Jerusalem, Palestinian news agency Ma’an reports.
Ahead of the meeting, Abbas calls for calm and a stop to the attacks “so that we can work on the diplomatic level to bring about peace in the Middle East.”
In a statement also posted by the official Palestinian Wafa news agency, Abbas says he “strongly condemns” the attack, echoing an earlier statement from his office.
The statement reads:
We condemn the incident that happened in one of the synagogues in Jerusalem, leading to the death of a number of Israelis. We strongly condemn this incident and cannot accept an attack against civilians and religious sites under any circumstance. While we condemn this act we also condemn the attack on Temple Mount (Al-Haram Al-Qudsi) and on sacred sites and the burning of mosques and churches.These things contradict all divine precepts and do not serve the common interest we strive for: to establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
Zaka head says scenes ‘worse than any I’ve seen’
ZAKA head Yehuda Meshi Zahav tells Army Radio: “I’ve seen attacks with much higher death tolls, but the scenes this time were worse than any I have seen.”
He protests the fact that gruesome images have been posted on the internet, exacerbating the grief of the victims’ families.
Rabbi Twersky’s funeral sets off
The funeral procession for Rabbi Moshe Twersky, a yeshiva head and scion of a distinguished rabbinic family, sets off from Har Nof toward Jerusalem’s Har Hamenuhot cemetery.
Twersky was originally from Boston, Massachusetts, and is a grandson of leading Modern Orthodox rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.
Synagogues instructed to use guards
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch says, “We have instructed synagogues to place security guards at their entrances.”
Aharonovitch also says requirements for gun licenses are being eased.
In addition, four Border Police reserve units have been called up, Army Radio reports.
Last two victims identified
The names of the last two victims of the attack are released: 50-year-old Rabbi Kalman Levine of Jerusalem, and 68-year-old Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, also of Jerusalem.
The funeral processions of both men will depart from Har Nof at 3 p.m.
Footage shows pools of blood in sanctuary
Graphic footage emerges showing ZAKA volunteers cleaning blood from the synagogue floor after the attack to remove it for burial.
The images show prayer books and personal belongings still on the tables, and thick pools of blood at several spots on the floor and the walls in the sanctuary.
The ultra-Orthodox volunteers go about their work diligently, clad in latex gloves and full-body suits.
The footage can be seen here [WARNING:GRAPHIC].
Mourners’ tent erected in Jabel Mukaber
A mourners’ tent has been set up in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber for the two terrorists who carried out the attack.
Western journalists are at the site.
Gazans celebrate attack with sweets
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip celebrate the attack in Har Nof that left four Israeli worshipers dead.
Reuters carried photographs of a Palestinian throwing sweets to a crowd of adults and children in Rafah in southern Gaza, and others of masked Palestinians in fatigues brandishing knives and axes as they stand in front of a picture of the two attackers.
Children stand next to the masked men.
3 terror victims US citizens, 1 British
Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg was a British citizen, while Rabbi Moshe Twersky, Rabbi Kalman Levine and Aryeh Kupinsky were American, police say.
UK national slain in attack
One of the men killed in the Har Nof attack was a British national.
Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg made aliyah from London’s Golders Green neighborhood in 1993, according to the British Jewish News.
“Avraham prayed there most days for the last ten years or so, he was a devout Jew with no political agenda,” a friend tells the Jewish News. “All he wanted was to live a peaceful life. His family are the nicest people you could meet. They had lots of children and several grandchildren.”
A UK Foreign Office spokesman confirmed to the paper that a British citizen was killed.
All four slain men lived on same street
More details emerge on the four men killed while worshiping at the Har Nof synagogue.
All four lived on the same street in the neighborhood.
Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky lost his 13-year-old daughter two years ago, Ynet reports.
68-year-old Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg made aliyah in the early 1990s, and has six children.
Rabbi Kalman Levine, 50, has nine children, and five grandchildren.
59-year-old Rabbi Moshe Twersky, the grandson of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, was the head of a yeshiva in Jerusalem, and was the scion of the prominent Twersky rabbinic family.
Lapid calls for home demolitions ‘tonight’
“We must take tougher measures, including those we have not taken before,” Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) says.
“The houses of these terrorists must be demolished tonight, and the terrorists that set out to commit terror attacks must know that they will not return to them alive. We will spare nothing, we will act with a heavy hand in Jerusalem, we will not allow this to continue.”
Lapid echoes other Israeli leaders in blaming incitement by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for the attack and adds, “Everything is on the table… they must know that neither they, nor their families, nor anybody else will escape unscathed from this kind of murder.”
Abbas not inciting terror — Shin Bet chief
Abbas is not intentionally inciting Palestinian violence, says the head of the Shin Bet intelligence service.
“Abbas is not interested in terror or inciting violence, even out of the public eye, despite the fact that some of the [Palestinian] public interprets that from his statements,” Yoram Cohen says, contradicting statements made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top politicians.
Cohen contends that the July revenge killing of Muhammed Abu Khdeir was a crucial event in creating the current situation, and visits by MKs to the Temple Mount and attempts to change the status quo to allow Jewish prayer have only added to the fire, Haaretz reports, citing officials who attended a meeting in the Knesset Foreign Affairs Committee where Cohen spoke.
He calls for maintaining the status quo and says that the public shouldn’t visit the Temple Mount at this time because it fans flames on the Palestinian side.
“The religious aspect that envelops this conflict is very dangerous and volatile.. We must do everything to calm the atmosphere,” he says.
President calls for national unity
President Reuven Rivlin releases a statement saying: “This is a time that requires national responsibility and national unity, and we will deal with it together — against both terror and the challenges that lie ahead of us.”
He adds that “we are under deliberate attack, these are not a random series of events. The security forces will defeat it and eradicate terrorism.”
Palestinians, police clash in Jerusalem
Clashes between Palestinians and police are reported in several East Jerusalem neighborhoods, including Silwan and Wadi Joz.
In the capital’s Old City, two policemen are lightly injured after stones are hurled at them. The police officers are rushed to the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital for treatment.
Thousands attend slain worshipers’ funerals
Thousands of people gather in the Har Nof synagogue that was the site of this morning’s terror attack for the funeral procession of three of the men who were killed.
Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky, 40, Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, and Rabbi Kalman Levine, 50, will be buried at the Givat Shaul cemetery later today.
The funeral of the fourth victim, 59-year-old Rabbi Moshe Twersky, took place earlier.
President Reuven Rivlin arrives at the synagogue to pay his respects to the victims’ families.
Police to ramp up Civil Guard in capital
The Jerusalem Municipality and police decide to bolster Civil Guard activity in neighborhoods across the city, in the wake of the terror attack in a synagogue in Har Nof.
“We decided to launch an extensive campaign to recruit volunteers for the Civil Guard in Jerusalem,” Barkat said at the end of a briefing with Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino and Jerusalem District Commander of police Moshe Edri.
“I call on the residents of Jerusalem to volunteer and help strengthen the civilian aid to security forces.”
The Civil Guard is a division of the Israel Police and consists mainly of civilian volunteers.
’24 orphans on one street’
Rabbi Yitzchak Mordechai Rubin, the chief rabbi of the Bnei Torah synagogue in Har Nof, where four worshipers were killed in a terror attack this morning, speaks at the funeral for three of the victims.
“We are here, standing in front of these three holy men, the best of our community, Torah scholars whose blood flowed like water,” he says.
“When we count the widows and orphans that were added to the Israeli nation this morning, four widows, twenty-four orphans on one street.”
Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky, 40, Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 68, and Rabbi Kalman Levine, 50, will be buried at the Har Hamenuhot cemetery later today.
The funeral of the fourth victim, 59-year-old Rabbi Moshe Twersky, took place earlier.
“Wrapped in a prayer shawl and phylacteries, the four victims were massacred, and numerous more suffered injuries,” Rubin says.
“We have passed from a private state of mourning to a public one.”
US confirms 3 victims were American citizens
Three of the four victims of the deadly Palestinian attack on a Jerusalem synagogue had US citizenship, a spokeswoman for the State Department said Tuesday, confirming an announcement made earlier by Israeli police.
“We can confirm that three US citizens, Moshe Twersky, Aryeh Kupinsky and Cary William Levine were killed in the attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem,” she told reporters traveling with US Secretary of State John Kerry in London.
Earlier, Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said that three victims were Israelis with US nationality, and the fourth was an Israeli with British nationality.
A spokesman for the British Foreign Office in London confirmed to AFP: “We are aware of the death of a dual British-Israeli national in Israel on 18th November.”
Bahrain FM says Jerusalem attack a ‘crime’
Bahrain’s Foreign Minister, Khalid Bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa, issues a statement condemning the deadly terror attack in Jerusalem.
“The murder of Jews praying in a synagogue is a crime,” he says, as reported on the Walla news site.
“The injustice of the occupation does not give a right to cause harm to innocent worshipers.”
PM orders demolition of terrorists’ homes
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu orders the demolition of the homes of the two East Jerusalem terrorists who carried out a deadly terror attack at a Har Nof synagogue in Jerusalem this morning.
Police also arrest 12 family members of cousins Ghassan Abu Jamal and Uday Abu Jamal, the two terrorists who carried out the attack, Channel 2 reports.
Earlier, a mourners’ tent was set up in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, where the two resided.
Clashes broke out in Jabel Mukaber after security forces closed in on the homes of the two residents who carried out the terror attack in Har Nof.
Nine residents were arrested, Haaretz reported, as police use tear gas and other riot dispersal methods.
Palestinian hurt in Jerusalem stabbing
A Palestinian man reports he was stabbed in the leg with a box cutter in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Musrara, along the seam line between the eastern and western parts of the city.
A police spokesman tells The Times of Israel that the Palestinian said he was approached by three young men, who asked him for a lighter and then jabbed at him with the makeshift weapon.
Police are investigating the incident.
Time to part with Jabel Mukaber, Labor MK says
Labor MK Shelly Yachimovich calls on the government to cede control of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, home to two terrorists who carried out a deadly terror attack at a Har Nof synagogue in Jerusalem this morning.
“[Jabel Mukaber] is an Arab village where we insisted on providing its residents with Israeli identity cards and making it a Jerusalem neighborhood,” Yachimovich writes on her Facebook page.
“Jabel Mukaber is not [part of] the State of Israel and should not be in Israel. Jabel Mukaber is where the murderers came from today. It is where the killers who perpetrated the massacre at Merkaz Harav [yeshiva], the tractor attack, the terrible attack on the bus at the Pat intersection.”
“After each murder and terrorist attack the villagers react with joyous celebration. I want to hear a plausible explanation from the right-wing fanatics — how does the fact that we have the [residents of Jabel Mukaber] as Israeli citizens living in a neighborhood of Jerusalem contribute to the security of Israel?”
Yachimovich adds that the “terrorists must be dealt with harshly, without sentiment; chase them and punish them.”
She contends however, that “at the same time, no military, police, interrogators, or our finest special units will be able solve the problem at the root of this bloodbath — the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is neglected by the right-wing government, which treats it as if it was a minor incident in the country.”
Obama urges calm for Israel, Palestinians
US President Barack Obama urges Israel and the Palestinians to “calm tensions” after this morning’s “horrific” terror attack at a synagogue in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof, AFP reports.
Uri Ariel urges action against terrorists
Housing Minister Uri Ariel calls on the Israeli government to launch a massive operation to root out terrorists, in order to prevent further attacks in Jerusalem and across the country.
“Prime Minister Ariel Sharon waited [during the Second Intifada] for the deadly attack on the Park Hotel in Netanya before setting out on Operation Protective Shield” in 2002, Ariel says during an interview on Channel 2.
“I suggest that the government not wait that long, and defeat the problem while it is still small.”
Chief rabbi dismayed by Muslim leaders’ silence
Israel’s Chief Rabbi David Lau tells Channel 2 he’s dismayed by the silence of Muslim religious leaders in the wake of today’s terrorist attack in Har Nof.
He says he’s been in contact and dialogue with Palestinian religious leaders in the past, but today those same leaders have not responded to his calls.
He adds that he hopes they will join him “at the entrance to the synagogue” where the attack took place in order to denounce it.
Differences between the faiths can be resolved through dialogue, he comments.
In killers’ home village, no condemnation
Channel 2’s Ohad Chemo, visiting East Jerusalem’s Jabel Mukaber, from where Tuesday’s terrorists hail, says he’s been trying to see if any of the locals are prepared to condemn the cold-blood killing of Jews at prayer in a synagogue, without success.
Not everybody defends the action, he reports, but he’s found nobody who’ll speak to the camera and condemn it.
A relative of the killers, Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal, says he was surprised by the attack. But asked to condemn it, he chooses not to, and instead talks about Sunday’s death of a Palestinian bus driver — found hanged in a bus in what an Israeli autopsy determined was a suicide, but the family and Palestinian media have blamed on Jewish extremists.
Residence permit of terrorist’s wife to be revoked
Interior Minister Gilad Erdan says the residence permit of a wife of one of the terrorists who carried out today’s deadly attack will be revoked, according to Channel 2. He does not provide any further details.
NYPD to bolster security at synagogues
In the wake of Tuesday’s terror attack, the New York Police Department announces that it will tighten its security measures and up its presence around Jewish institutions and synagogues in the city, CNN reports.
Also in New York, a 54-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jew is assaulted by three men at a Brooklyn subway station, in an apparent anti-Semitic attack, the New York Daily News reports.
Riots rage in Jabel Mukaber
Riots break out in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, home of the perpetrators of Tuesday’s terror attack, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu orders the demolition of their houses.
Dozens of Palestinian protesters are hurling stones at police, Ynet reports.
Earlier, police arrested 12 family members of cousins Ghassan Abu Jamal and Uday Abu Jamal, the two terrorists who carried out the attack, Channel 2 reports.
Nine more residents were detained during clashes in the neighborhood throughout the day.
In the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, protesters throw rocks at the Jerusalem Light Rail, causing damage but no injuries.
Obama condemns Jerusalem attack as ‘horrific’
US President Barack Obama on Tuesday strongly condemns the attack at an Israeli synagogue that killed four people, including three US citizens. He calls the attacks “horrific,” and adds that the act was without justification.
He says too many Israelis and too many Palestinians have died in recent months, and he urges leaders and ordinary people from both sides to work “cooperatively” to lower tensions, reject violence and seek a path forward toward peace.
US Secretary of State John Kerry, traveling in London, also condemns Tuesday’s attack. Kerry demands that the Palestinian leadership take immediate steps to end incitement to violence. Kerry speaks by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to express condolences.
Services to resume at Har Nof synagogue tomorrow
Prayer services are set to resume tomorrow at the Bnei Torah synagogue in Har Nof, where four worshipers were killed in a terror attack this morning.
The synagogue has been cleaned up throughout the day, and a rabbi has been giving a Torah lesson to locals who gathered there this evening.
Mayor urges tough response to terror, says Jerusalem must not be divided
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat blames today’s terror attack on the “continued incitement” against Israel among Palestinians, adding that the Israeli government must respond quickly and forcefully to any future threats against Jewish residents of the city.
“We must have a tough response, towards the terrorists and those who send them,” he says.
Barkat says the homes of terrorists must be demolished or boarded up within a week of their attacks.
The mayor stresses that he does not support dividing the city, or ceding control of its eastern neighborhoods.
“We must not divide the city, it will only be worse,” he says.
Barkat adds that most of the city’s Arab residents are interested in quelling tensions.
Netanyahu urges global denunciation of terror
At a press conference in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to stop all instances of incitement, which ultimately lead to terror attacks.
“Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and the PA are spreading false rumors, saying we are defiling the Temple Mount, that we plan to destroy holy sites — those are all lies,” he says.
He adds that a “blood libel” was also spread about the suicide of a Palestinian bus driver for the Egged company on Sunday, in further anti-Israel incitement.
Netanyahu describes the four victims of today’s Har Nof attack as “innocent and pure” and sends condolences to their families.
“This time,” he notes, Abbas “condemned the massacre… and that’s good… but it’s not enough.”
He slams “daily, hourly incitement” against Israel in the PA territories… against the very fact of Israel’s existence.”
There’s incessant incitement in schools, mosques, media — “that’s the root of the conflict: the refusal to accept the legitimacy” of the Jewish state.
“To my sorrow,” he adds, the world does not demand the PA end incitement against Israel. “I urge all world leaders… I want to see shock, utter denunciation” of terrorism, of the murder of Jews in their prayer shawls.
Checkpoints to be erected in East Jerusalem
For the first time in decades, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu orders the setting up of checkpoints at the entrance to East Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods, following Tuesday morning’s fatal terror attack in a Har Nof synagogue.
The prime minister also instructs security forces to carry out raids on the homes of suspected terrorists in the city.
In addition, two more Border Police contingents will be assigned to the capital.
PM demands national unity, respect for the law
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laments that some in the international community are preparing to give the Palestinians the prize of recognition for a state, without requiring them to recognize Israel.
“We won’t accept that,” he says.
He promises that Israel will “settle scores” with the terrorists, and specifies that Israel will demolish their homes.
Now, the prime minister tells Israelis “nobody should take the law into their own hands.”
He notes that “we’ve always had to grapple with terrorism,” facing “those who want to uproot us from our land.
“We have to unite,” he says, “around Jerusalem, and the security of the citizens of Israel. We need to stand together.” He urges “national unity,” says terrorism can be defeated, and declares that Israel will prevail.
Asked about Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen’s statement earlier today to the effect that Abbas is not inciting violence, Netanyahu says there is “no gulf” between their assessments.
CNN apologizes for listing terrorists among dead
CNN apologizes for reporting that two Palestinians were killed in the terror attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem this morning, while failing to note that the Palestinians were, in fact, the perpetrators of the attack.
Earlier, in a gaffe, a CNN graphic called the Har Nof synagogue terrorist attack a “deadly attack on Jerusalem mosque,” according to the HonestReporting media watchdog site.
Hundreds of right-wing activists rally in Jerusalem
An estimated 300 right-wing demonstrators are gathering at Jerusalem’s Chords Bridge and are calling for retaliation against Arabs for Tuesday morning’s attack in which four men were killed by Palestinian terrorists.
Police were deployed to prevent disturbances to the main artery leading into the city. The police tweeted that they arrested two protesters who attempted to block the main road leading into the city.
Ultra-Orthodox man assaulted in Jerusalem
An ultra-Orthodox man in his 20s is assaulted by two Palestinian men who struck his head with metal poles near Jaffa Gate, outside Jerusalem’s Old City. The Jewish man is lightly injured, and is rushed to the Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem for further treatment.
Police say they are searching the area for the perpetrators of the attack.
Herzog says PM not providing security
Labor Party leader and head of the opposition MK Isaac Herzog says that, while he respects Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s calls for unity, the Labor Party will not join a government “whose policies do not provide security and hope for the citizens of Israel.”
He adds that “Labor is a conceptual and governmental alternative, and it should lead the country, because change is needed here.”
10 arrested at right-wing protest
Ten people are arrested as an estimated 300 right-wing demonstrators gather at Jerusalem’s Chords Bridge. The protesters are calling for retaliation against Arabs for Tuesday morning’s attack in which four men were killed by Palestinian terrorists. Among those detained is the head of the anti-assimilation Lehava organization, Bentzi Gopstein.
Police were deployed to prevent disturbances to the main artery leading into the city. The police tweeted that several protesters attempted to block the main road leading into the city.
Elkin proposes ‘Jewish unity government’
Likud MK and coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin contacts all opposition parties not affiliated with the Arab community — including Labor, Shas, United Torah Judaism, Meretz and Kadima — with an offer to join what he calls a “Jewish unity government.”
Meretz and Labor respond in the negative.
Earlier, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for “national unity,” adding that terrorism can be defeated.
“We have to unite,” he says, “around Jerusalem, and the security of the citizens of Israel. We need to stand together.”
Terror attack praised on Palestinian social media
Cartoons hailing Tuesday’s terror attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood are circulating on Palestinian social media sites. Some of the cartoons urge Palestinians to take up arms in order to “liberate” the al-Aqsa Mosque.
the new Hit in Palestinian social media רץ ברשתות החברתיות בעקבות הפיגוע בבית הכנסת בירושלים pic.twitter.com/YF4Gvw6Qxh
— Gal Berger גל ברגר (@galberger) November 18, 2014
Shin Bet reportedly concerned over Jewish attacks
Shin Bet officials say they are concerned Jewish extremists may target Palestinians and carry out a terror attack on the Temple Mount, according to Walla, following the murder of four worshipers by Palestinians at a Jerusalem synagogue earlier today.
The officials urge Israeli politicians not to visit the Temple Mount, the report adds.
UN chief condemns Jerusalem synagogue attack
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday strongly condemns the attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem that left four dead. He laments a worsening of the situation on the ground.
“Beyond today’s reprehensible incident, clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli security forces continue on a near daily basis in many parts of East Jerusalem and the West Bank,” Ban says in a statement.
“The steadily worsening situation on the ground only reinforces the imperative for leaders on both sides to make the difficult decisions that will promote stability and ensure long-term security for both Israelis and Palestinians,” he adds.
Ban calls on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to refrain from using provocative rhetoric that could stoke tensions and lead to violence.
He praises Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas for condemning the synagogue attack.
23 arrested in right-wing Jerusalem protest
Twenty-three right-wing activists are arrested during a demonstration in Jerusalem. The protesters attempted to block the Jerusalem Light Rail on Jaffa Road, but were dispersed by police and Border Police.
Police up security ahead of Beitar-Sakhnin game
Seven hundred police officers and over 200 attendants are set to secure a Sunday soccer match in the Arab Israeli town of Sakhnin between the local team, Bnei Sakhnin, and the rival Beitar Jerusalem club.
Beitar fans have a strong nationalist orientation, and violent confrontations have broken out at Beitar-Sakhnin games in the past.
Beitar fans will be rigorously inspected upon entering the Doha stadium in Sakhnin, Israel Radio reports.
Molotov cocktail hurled at Beitar Illit home
A Molotov cocktail is hurled at a home in the West Bank settlement of Beitar Illit, on the outskirts of Jerusalem. No injuries are reported, but minor damage is caused to the building.
Police are searching the area for suspects.
Druze officer injured in attack dies of his wounds
Zidan Saif, a police officer who was seriously injured in the Tuesday-morning terror attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem, succumbed to his wounds.
Saif, 30, was shot in the head during a gunfight with the two terrorists. According to eyewitnesses, he was hit by a bullet when attempting to protect a fellow police officer.
He is the fifth victim of the attack.
Druze community leaders and residents of Saif’s village of Yanuh-Jat in the Galilee describe him as a hero, NRG reports.
“We are proud of our sons who act fearlessly on the front against terrorist attacks,” Muefek Tarif, a spiritual leader of the Druze community, says, according to the NRG news site.
“This is a dark day for the Israeli public and the State of Israel, a day when its citizens are murdered for their Jewish beliefs.”
“The Druze community strongly condemns the act of terrorism, where Palestinian terrorists massacred and slaughtered innocent civilians.”
Saif is survived by his wife and four-month-old daughter, Channel 10 reports.
Police honor slain Druze officer in tweet
The Israel Police says in a tweet it “bows its head in remembrance of Zidan Saif, 30, who risked his life to save lives and was killed in the terror attack in Jerusalem this morning. May his memory be blessed.”
משטרת ישראל מרכינה ראש לזכרו של זידאן סיף (30), אשר חירף נפשו להצלת חיים ונרצח בפיגוע הבוקר בי-ם. יהי זכרו ברוך pic.twitter.com/ebtHvb0lk5
— משטרת ישראל (@IL_police) November 18, 2014
Police nab two suspects in Jerusalem Old City attack
Police say they have arrested two Palestinian men suspected of attacking an ultra-Orthodox man outside Jerusalem’s Old City earlier this evening.
The man, in his 20s, was assaulted by two men who struck him on the head with metal poles near the Old City’s Jaffa Gate. The man was lightly injured, and was rushed to the Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem for further treatment.
Police detain 6 over weekend’s Druze-Muslim riots
Police are continuing their arrests of suspects connected to Friday’s violent clash in the northern Druze-Muslim village of Abu Snan, which left 26 people injured, Israel Radio reports.
Officials say they have detained six people today from nearby villages on suspicion of throwing rocks in the village over the weekend. They add that of the four other suspects detained on Monday, three have been released to their homes and have been banned from visiting Abu Snan in the coming month.
The conflict between the Druze and Muslim communities of the village erupted over the weekend, reportedly following a stabbing attack between two high school students, one Muslim and one Druze, after the two exchanged insults online.
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