John Kerry Visits Israel

L-R Mahmoud Abbas (PA President), John Kerry (US Secretary of State), Benjamin Netanyahu (Israeli Prime Minister) and Philip Hammond (British Foreign Secretary)

Israel’s Prime Minister has led a chorus of condemnation of the attack on a Jerusalem synagogue which killed at least four people.

Benjamin Netanyahu said that the violence was a “cruel murder of Jews who came to pray and were killed by despicable murderers”, blaming the attack on incitement by the Islamic terrorist group Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, which he said the international community had been “irresponsibly ignoring”.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a statement which outlined that “The Palestinian presidency has always condemned the killing of civilians on either side, and condemns today the killing of worshippers at a synagogue in west Jerusalem”.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has joined US Secretary of State John Kerry in condemning an attack by Palestinian terrorists on a synagogue in Jerusalem.

Speaking in London, Mr Kerry and Mr Hammond called on the Palestinian leadership “at every single level” to condemn the assault.

“To have this kind of act, which is a pure result of incitement, of calls for days of rage, of irresponsibility is unacceptable,” Mr Kerry told reporters.

“The Palestinian leadership must condemn this and they must begin to take serious steps to restrain any kind of incitement that comes from their language, from other people’s language, and exhibit the kind of leadership that is necessary to put this region on a different path.”

Mr Hammond added: “Both sides in this conflict need to do everything possible to de escalate the situation and reduce the tension we’ve seen in Jerusalem over the past few weeks, which is extremely dangerous for both Palestinian and Jewish communities in that area.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council also issued a statement. It said that they “deplore and condemn the horrific terror attack which took place in Jerusalem this morning and resulted in the murder of four Israelis and the wounding of several others. 

“The attack comes during a period of heightened tension in Jerusalem, exacerbated by the incessant incitement not just by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but also the Palestinian Authority and its President Mahmoud Abbas. Mr Abbas’s condemnation of the attack is ultimately an empty one if the incitement continues. We urge the international community to call on Abbas to end this dangerous provocation before further bloodshed occurs.”

Vivian Wineman, President of the Board of Deputies and Chair of the JLC’s Council of Membership said: “We ask all actors to step back from the abyss of violence and to take steps towards ending the current bloodshed. We need leadership on all sides to bring peace, security, prosperity and equality to Israelis and Palestinians.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”