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Holy Land Patriarch Prays for Victims of Jerusalem Synagogue Attack


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Agenzia Fides - published on 11/17/14 - updated on 06/07/17

Four killed as attackers use guns, knives and axes.

Jerusalem — After two Palestinians stormed a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, killing four people before they were killed in a shootout with police, the Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins offered his condolences and prayed that leaders take the right steps to ensure peace.

"I extend my condolences to the relatives of the victims of the assault against the Synagogue of Jerusalem and all the violence that bloody the Holy Land," said Patiarch Fouad Twal. "In our churches, convents and monasteries, we will pray more than ever that the Lord helps us and helps political leaders to take the right steps so that there is peace and security for all, all, all."

The Patriarch, who has just returned from a trip abroad, describes a Jerusalem marked by a strengthening of security measures and roadblocks. "But this is a sign that the situation is anything but normal, and control measures cannot solve the seriousness of the problems," he said. "It is necessary to go to the roots, remove the causes of despair that breeds violence, stop the endless spiral of revenge. Otherwise we will always live in fear, without freedom or dignity. These are the thoughts that we have in our hearts, as we approach Christmas."

In the attack that this morning hit the synagogue in the suburb of Har Nof, four Jews were killed and eight others were injured. According to preliminary information provided by the Israeli press, the attackers were Palestinian Arab residents of East Jerusalem. Israeli sources also report a third bomber arrested.

Hamas issued a claim of responsibility of the attack, while the condemnation of all actions that results in the death of civilians was reaffirmed by the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas. The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced a harsh response regarding the attack by Israel, assigning liability to both Hamas and the Palestinian National Authority.

In Jerusalem, after recent clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians in front of the Esplanade of Mosques, the tension had risen in the last hours after the discovery of the body of Palestinian Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni, a bus driver found hanged at the terminus of Har Hotzvim on Sunday night. The outcome of the autopsy had spoken of suicide, while according to Palestinian sources, the driver was beaten and then murdered. 

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