By Julie Stahl and Chris Mitchell
CBN News, JERUSALEM, Israel — Terror struck Israel’s capital again Tuesday when two Palestinian terrorists brutally murdered four people in a Jerusalem synagogue, including three Americans and one Briton.
Two of the jihadists were killed in the melee and six others were injured.
The attack took place in Har Nof, a religious neighborhood in Jerusalem. An amateur video shows the final shootout with police outside the synagogue.
The terrorists burst into the synagogue where they shot and stabbed people as they gathered for early morning prayers.
“Two terrorists Palestinians from east Jerusalem entered inside the synagogue. They were armed with knives, axes, and a pistol,” Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told CBN News.
“The synagogue was packed at the time with people praying in peace and quiet, and as a result of this terror attack where shots were fired… innocent people were sadly attacked. Four Israelis were pronounced dead at the scene. Six others were taken to hospital,” Rosenfeld said.
One of two wounded police officers succumbed to his injuries, raising the death toll to five.
“We go inside. We see people are just lying down with the Jewish tefillin [phylacteries] and tallit [prayer shawls], covered with blood,” Magen David Adom paramedic Haim Gartner told CBN News.
“Part of them — I’m not sure if they were shot or just cut up, I mean stabbed,” Gartner continued. “You know you run from person to person to check who’s alive, who’s not alive. You know every face you see; you hope it’s not your brother or your brother-in-law or father-in-law or parents because, you know, we live in this neighborhood.”
Residents of the quiet area, home to many English speakers, were in shock.
“They came into a quiet neighborhood,” a resident named David told CBN News. “It’s not in east Jerusalem or occupied territories or any of that lexicon. They came in here to people who were praying and killed them while they’re praying in cold blood, people who were going to come home to take the kids to school. The kids are sitting home or actually walking around over here wondering where their fathers are.”
Another Har Nof resident, Yechiel Hager, told CBN News, the world needs to “wake up.”
“We would expect the world to wake up and realize what we’re dealing with. Everybody expects us to do peace, to make peace. We want peace. We pray for peace three times a day. But at the same time we need partners,” Hager said.
Hamas immediately praised the attack, calling the terrorists heros. While the Palestinian Authority condemned the attack, Israel still blamed the P.A. for its incitement.
“Ultimately today what is needed is for the international community to unequivocally condemn the Palestinian Authority for competing with the Islamist radicals in propagating a culture of violence and hatred. That must cease immediately and the international community must hold the Palestinian Authority accountable,” Israel government spokesman Mark Regev told CBN News.
Four members of the Har Nof community went to the Sons of the Torah synagogue. They never came home.
Report via CBN News