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4 dead after 'terrorist attack' at Jerusalem synagogue

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4 dead after 'terrorist attack' at Jerusalem synagogue

Two Palestinians stormed a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, attacking worshippers praying inside with knives, axes and guns, and killing four people before they were killed in a shootout with police, officials said.

Three of the victims, Moshe Twersky, Aryeh Kopinsky and Calman Levine, were dual Israeli-U.S. citizens, and the fourth, Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, was a dual British-Israeli citizen, according to numerous reports.
The FBI is now launching an investigation into the attack.

The attack, the deadliest in Jerusalem in years, is bound to ratchet up fears of sustained violence in the city, already on edge amid soaring tensions over a contested holy site. Hours after the attack police shut down parts of East Jerusalem amid fears of riots and revenge attacks. At least nine "rioters" have been arrested, police said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Israel will "respond harshly" to the attack, which he denounced as a "cruel murder of Jews who came to pray and were killed by despicable murderers." The country's public security minister, Yitzhak Aharonovich, told IDF Radio that Israel will "ease restrictions on carrying weapons" for private security guards and off-duty army officers.

Israeli police described the assault as a terrorist attack and said the two Palestinian assailants were cousins from east Jerusalem. Hamas, the militant Palestinian group that runs the Gaza Strip, praised the attack but stopped short of claiming responsibility.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said seven people were also wounded in the attack, including two police officers. Four of the wounded were reported in serious condition. He said police were searching the area for other suspects. Video emerged showing police making arrests in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal Mukaber.

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4 dead after 'terrorist attack' at Jerusalem synagogue

Wounded worshippers were being assisted by paramedics and a bloodied butcher's knife lay near the scene of the attack.

"I tried to escape. The man with the knife approached me. There was a chair and table between us ... my prayer shawl got caught. I left it there and escaped," Yossi, who was praying at the synagogue at the time of the attack, told Israeli Channel 2 TV. He declined to give his last name.

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4 dead after 'terrorist attack' at Jerusalem synagogue
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