Both terrorists were killed by police within seven minutes.
Israel Police said there were six injured, including two policemen, one of whom was seriously injured, and another moderately hurt.
A man who prays at the synagogue told The Times of Israel that one of the victims was American, and another British. That report was not immediately confirmed.
Photos taken from inside the synagogue after the attack showed bloodied male worshipers lying on the floor, still wrapped in their prayer shawls and phylacteries.
Both terrorists were from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, Channel 2 reported. Clashes between residents and security forces broke out in the neighborhood.
In a statement, the Islamist Hamas movement, which dominates Gaza, said it was “a response to the murder of the martyr Yusuf Ramouni.” It was referring to the bus driver from East Jerusalem who was found hanged inside his vehicle late on Sunday. Palestinian media claimed he was murdered; an autopsy established that he committed suicide.
The attack came a day after tensions in Jerusalem once again ramped up in the wake of Ramouni’s suicide Sunday night. The driver’s family claimed he had been killed by Jewish extremists, setting off riots and strikes in the capital Monday.
Here’s a summary of the main developments:
Two men armed with axes, knives and a pistol have killed four Israelis and wounded several others in a Jerusalem synagogue in the worst such attack in years. Two Palestinians were killed in shootout with police at the scene, a synagogue in the ultra-orthodox Har Nof district of west Jerusalem where 25 had gathered for morning worship.
The suspects were named as cousins Ghassan Abu Jamal, and Uday Abu Jamal, who both member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The group praised the attack but stopped short of claiming responsibility. Hamas, which also hailed the attack, said it was a response to the killing of a Palestinian bus driver, Yusuf Ramuni.
Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel would respond with a “heavy hand”, and blamed Palestinian leaders for incitement. One member of his government called for the homes of the suspects to be demolished.
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack. A statement from his office said Abbas “condemns the killing of civilians no matter who is doing it”.
US Secretary of State John Kerry led international condemnation of the attack and urged Palestinian leaders to “restrain any kind of incitement”.The leaders of all the main parties in Britain also condemned the attack, while Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond urged both sides to “de-escalate tensions”.
One of the victims was identified as a rabbi who taught at a Jerusalem seminary. Witnesses, including paramedics, described horrific scenes at the synagogue.
There have been reports of violence between Palestinians and Israeli settlers and the security forces in the wake of the attack.There are also fears of revenge attacks on Palestinians by hardline Israelis, as one group organised a protest rally.
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