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Attack On Jerusalem Synagogue Leaves Four Dead

Ilia Yefimovich Getty Images
People react as they stand outside a synagogue on Tuesday in Jerusalem, Israel. Four Israelis were killed and several others wounded in a terror attack at the synagogue.

Two assailants, armed with guns, knives and axes, launched an attack on worshippers at a Jerusalem Synagogue on Tuesday. It left four dead and at least six others wounded.

The New York Times reports police officers rushed to the scene and the assailants were killed during a firefight with police.

CNN adds:

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"Later on Tuesday, Israeli security forces moved into the slain attackers' neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber and clashed with residents, arresting nine people, police said. No details were available on the charges."'We're continuing to search the neighborhood to make sure there are any further terrorists,' Rosenfeld said."

On his Twitter feed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would meet with his Security Cabinet later today.

"This is the direct result of incitement being led by Hamas [and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas,] incitement which the [international] community is irresponsibly ignoring," Netanyahu said. "We will respond with a heavy hand to the brutal murder of Jews who came to pray and were met by reprehensible murderers."

Secretary of State John Kerry, who was meeting with his British counterpart in London, called the attack "pure terror" and called on Palestinian leaders to "condemn this in the most powerful terms."

According to the Times, Abbas also issued a statement condemning "the killing of civilians from any side" and "the whole cycle of violence."

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Of course all of this comes as tensions in the region mounted over the closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which Jews call the Temple Mount.

As NPR's Emily Harris reported, because the site is holy to both sides, Jews and Muslims have clashed over access.

The BBC adds:

"The issue is of such sensitivity that even when Israel captured the Old City of Jerusalem during the war of 1967 it handed control of the compound back to an Islamic religious authority which continues to administer it to this day.<br><br>"In recent times some religious Jews have begun to argue for a change in the status quo which would also allow them to pray there - any hint of such change is viewed with deep anger in the Islamic world.<br><br>"[Today's] attack happened at a religious seminary site on Harav Shimon Agassi Street - home to a largely Orthodox Jewish community in the Har Nof neighbourhood. Among those killed was Rabbi Moshe Twersky, 60, head of the seminary."
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