The holy city of Jerusalem witnessed a barbarous attack when two Palestinians armed with a gun and meat cleaver stormed into a synagogue killing five people on Tuesday. The two attackers were subsequently shot dead by the police. This was one of the most gruesome attack in six years in the city after a Palestinian gunman killed eight persons in a school back in 2008. Three of the victims were American nationals while one was a British citizen. A policeman who was engaged in the encounter got shot and died of his wounds. Four out of the five victims were rabbis.
There were several others who got wounded in the attack including Howard Rothman a Canadian-Israeli dual citizen who is in a critical condition and is receiving treatment.
The attack took place in the Kehillat Bnei Torah synagogue which is located in an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in West Jerusalem. According to one witness 25 people were praying in the synagogue when the shootout took place.
This latest incident has led to a rise in tension between Israel and Palestine as Benjamin Netanyahu the Israeli Prime Minister has directly accused Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President of causing unrest in the city. Abbas though came out and disapproved the savage killing of civilians. Netanyahu went on to say that Israel will settle the score with each and every terrorist and their dispatchers. Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic outfit endorsed the attack, but didn’t claim to have carried it out.
Tension has been brewing for quite some time now between the two countries over a holy site as it houses the al-Aqsa mosque which is supposed to be the third holiest in Islam after Mecca and Medina. For the Jews it is sacred because two biblical temples stood there once.
World leaders reacted swiftly against this attack. US President Barack Obama speaking to reporters at the White House strongly condemned the attack and called on both sides to lower the simmering tension.