Jerusalem attack 'act of pure terror': Kerry

18th November 2014, Comments 0 comments

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday condemned an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue that killed four Israelis as an "act of pure terror and senseless brutality".

Speaking in London ahead of talks with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Kerry called on the Palestinian leadership to denounce the attack, which was carried out by two Palestinians armed with a gun and axes in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood.

"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 told 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 added.

"This violence has no place anywhere, particularly after the discussion that we had just the other day in Amman," Kerry said, refering to a meeting with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

A US official travelling with Kerry said that the secretary of state had called Abbas, urging him to ease tensions.

"The Palestinian presidency.

condemns today the killing of worshippers at a synagogue in west Jerusalem," Abbas said in a statement from his office.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said he was "appalled" by the incident, writing on Twitter that his "thoughts are with the victims' families".

Six other people were wounded, among them two policemen, before the attackers were shot dead, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said, identifying them as Palestinians from east Jerusalem.

Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which dominates Gaza, welcomed the attack, which took place shortly before 7 am (0500 GMT), saying it was revenge for the death earlier this week of a Palestinian bus driver from east Jerusalem who was found hanged inside his vehicle.

Police said there was no evidence of foul play, blaming the driver's death on suicide, with their findings backed up by a post-mortem.

But colleagues and family said there were signs of violence on his body and that he was murdered.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin blamed the attack on "incitement" by Abbas and Hamas.

© 2014 AFP

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