A synagogue in Jerusalem turned from a sanctuary of peace to horror within just a few moments on Tuesday, after two cousins who were Palestinian attacked worshippers with axes, knives and a gun during the morning prayers.
Police were there in minutes, fatally shooting both attackers in the synagogue in the Har Nof region of West Jerusalem, said a police spokesperson.
However, six people were wounded and one British-Israel and three U.S.-Israeli citizens were killed.
The attack, Jerusalem’s deadliest since 2008 when eight students in a seminary were gunned down, came during a tense time in the city.
The attacks follows a number of recent deadly vehicle and stabbing incidents that, while not of a large scale such as suicide bombings that have defined the last decade or rocket attacks from Gaza earlier in the year, left many in the city on edge.
Following the attack, the office of Benjamin Netanyahu the Prime Minister of Israel said they would respond with a heavy hand for the brutal murder of worshippers who only wanted to pray.
A government spokesperson said police presence would be increased to make sure no copycat attacks take place.
At the same time, security forces from Israel acted in an offensive manner by moving into the neighborhood of the attackers in East Jerusalem where they battled with residents and eventually made 9 arrests.
The office of the Prime Minister said the area around the synagogue was also being searched to make sure no terrorists remained.
Netanyahu’s office said the killings were a direct result of the incitement led by the Palestinian Authority run by Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas.
The bloodshed in the synagogue was condemned by Abbas. He stressed that the cause of the attacks had to be stopped.
However, in Gaza, the Palestinians did not condemn the attack, but celebrated it.
Hamas, which is not in agreement with Abbas and the Fatah movement he runs did not make any claim of responsibility.
Hamas leaders said more revolution would take place in Jerusalem and uprising would continue.