After attack, Israel raises alert level in Jerusalem

The Palestinian perpetrators of Tuesday's attack were identified as cousins Ghassan and Oudai Abu Jamal from occupied East Jerusalem's Jabal al-Mukaber neighborhood.

After attack, Israel raises alert level in Jerusalem

World Bulletin/News Desk

Israeli police have raised the alert level in Jerusalem following Tuesday's synagogue shooting in West Jerusalem that left four Israelis dead.

Israeli Police Chief Yohanan Danino has raised the police alert in Jerusalem to the second-highest level, the Israeli police said via Twitter.

Danino has also instructed area chiefs to prepare for any possible scenario, the Israeli police tweeted.

The tweet did not specify which cities would be subjected to stepped-up security measures, but Israeli radio said it would be in Jerusalem.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has phoned Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss means of containing ongoing upheaval in Jerusalem and the occupied territories, the official Palestinian news agency reported Tuesday.

The phone call came in the wake of a deadly attack by two Palestinians on a Jewish religious center in West Jerusalem that left four Israelis dead and seven injured, according to the Israeli police.

Shortly after the attack, and following a meeting with senior Palestinian security officers in Ramallah, Abbas called for "complete calm" in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Abbas called for stopping "any actions that could give the Israeli [government and] settlers a justification for escalating the situation and violating holy sites, especially the Al-Aqsa Mosque," the news agency reported.

Earlier this month, Abbas met Kerry in Jordanian capital Amman amid heightened tension in Jerusalem and the West Bank, which followed Israel's temporary closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex after an extremist rabbi was injured in a drive-by shooting in West Jerusalem.

On Tuesday morning, four Israelis were killed and seven others injured in an attack by two Palestinians on a Jewish synagogue in West Jerusalem.

The two attackers were shot dead by Israeli police in the immediate wake of the attack.

According to Israeli police spokesmen Micky Rosenfeld, the two attackers had entered a synagogue in Jerusalem's Har Nof neighborhood with knives and axes.

"Police confirm four Israelis killed in synagogue attack in Jerusalem. Both terrorists shot and killed by police," he added on Twitter.

Seven others were injured in the attack, he added.

Three of the victims held dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship and the fourth man was a British-Israeli national, police said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to respond with a "heavy hand", and again accused Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of inciting violence in Jerusalem.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said it carried out the attack, which it called a "heroic operation".

Israeli police and the U.S. State Department identified one of the dead as Rabbi Mosheh Twersky, who taught at a Jerusalem seminary. Twersky was from a Hassidic rabbinical dynasty and a grandson of Joseph Soloveitchik, a renowned Boston rabbi who died in 1993.

Twersky and two other victims, Aryeh Kupinsky and Cary William Levine, were U.S. citizens, according to the State Department and the Israeli police, which said they were also Israeli nationals. The British-Israeli killed in the attack was named by the police as Avraham Shmuel Goldberg.

Israeli Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said he was seeking a partial easing of gun controls so that military officers and security guards could carry weapons while off-duty.

Tuesday's attack comes amid months of tension in Jerusalem and the West Bank, which mounted further late last month after Israeli authorities briefly shut the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.

In recent weeks, Jerusalem has seen several deadly attacks on Israelis, as well as violent clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian protesters.

The synagogue attack was the worst in the city since 2008, when a Palestinian gunman killed eight people in a religious school.

 

Last Mod: 18 Kasım 2014, 17:00
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