Palestinians kill five in Jerusalem synagogue attack
Updated: 2014-11-19 09:20
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media in Jerusalem November 18, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
VICTIMS WERE RABBIS
Four of the dead - Twersky, 59, Kupinsky, 43, Levine, 55, and Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, a 68-year-old British-Israeli - were ordained rabbis.
A Jewish seminary lecturer, Twersky was from a Hasidic rabbinical dynasty. Thousands of mourners attended his funeral.
Palestinian radio described the attackers as "martyrs" and Hamas, the dominant group in the Gaza Strip, praised the attack. Loudspeakers at mosques in Gaza called out congratulations and youngsters handed out candy in the streets.
Palestinian media named the assailants as Ghassan and Udai Abu Jamal, cousins from the Jerusalem district of Jabal Mukaber, where clashes broke out as Israeli security forces moved in to make arrests.
Abbas said in a statement: "The presidency condemns the attack on Jewish worshippers in one of their places of prayer in West Jerusalem and condemns the killing of civilians no matter who is doing it."
The attack raised Israelis' concern about a new Palestinian uprising. Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said he was seeking a partial easing of gun controls so military officers and security guards could carry weapons while off-duty.
A day before the incident, a Palestinian bus driver was found hanged in his vehicle in Jerusalem. Israel said he committed suicide, but his family said he was attacked and mourners at his funeral chanted for revenge.
Residents trace the violence in Jerusalem to July, when a Palestinian teenager was burned to death by Jewish assailants, an alleged revenge attack for the abduction and killing of three Jewish teens by Palestinian militants in the occupied West Bank.
The synagogue attack was the worst in the city since 2008, when a Palestinian gunman killed eight people in a religious school.