John Kerry condemns attack on Jerusalem synagogue

John Kerry Addresses Transformational Trends Policy Forum

LONDON (AP) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry angrily condemned Tuesday's deadly attack on a Jerusalem synagogue and demanded that the Palestinian leadership take immediate steps to end incitement to violence as Israeli-Palestinian tensions soared.

"This morning in Jerusalem, Palestinians attacked Jews who were praying in a synagogue," Kerry said shortly after Israeli authorities reported that two Palestinians had stormed the synagogue, attacking worshippers with knives, axes and guns, and killed four people before being killed in a shootout with police.

Kerry spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to express condolences and offer support. Following a meeting in London with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Kerry spoke with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and expressed support for his statement condemning the attacks. He agreed to stay in close touch with both leaders.

Netanyahu vowed to "respond harshly" to the attack. Abbas said in a statement that he "condemns the killing of the worshippers" while adding that Israel should stop "the invasion" of a key Jerusalem holy site and halt "incitement" by Israeli ministers.

"Innocent people who had come to worship died in the sanctuary of a synagogue," Kerry said, his voice quavering. "They were hatcheted, hacked and murdered in that holy place in an act of pure terror and senseless brutality and murder. I call on Palestinians at every single level of leadership to condemn this in the most powerful terms. This violence has no place anywhere, particularly after the discussion that we just had the other day in Amman."

Last week, Kerry traveled to the Jordanian capital and won commitments from Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordanian King Abdullah II, who serves as the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, to reduce tensions.

Kerry, who spoke Tuesday before, noted that Israel had acted to calm the situation by easing age restrictions on Muslim worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque. He did not mention any steps taken by the Palestinians despite what had been described in Amman as a pledge from Abbas to rein in incitement.

"To have this kind of act, which is a pure result of incitement, of calls for 'days of rage,' of just irresponsibility, is unacceptable," Kerry said. "The Palestinian leadership must condemn this and they must begin to take serious steps to restrain any kind of incitement ... and exhibit the kind of leadership that is necessary to put this region on a different path. This simply has no place in human behavior and we need to hear from leaders who are going to lead their people to a different place."


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John Kerry condemns attack on Jerusalem synagogue
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 19: (CHINA OUT, SOUTH KOREA OUT) Relatives of Palestinian attackers who killed two Isrealis last month are seen at their demolished house on November 19, 2014 in Jerusalem, Isreal. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 19: (CHINA OUT, SOUTH KOREA OUT) Relatives of Palestinian attackers who killed two Isrealis last month are seen at their demolished house on November 19, 2014 in Jerusalem, Isreal. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
JERUSALEM NOVEMBER 19: A car is damaged as Israeli forces demolishes the home of Palestinian AbdelRahman al-Shaludi, blamed for killing two Israelis in a deadly vehicular attack last month, in Silwan neighborhood, east Jerusalem on November 19, 2014. (Photo by Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM NOVEMBER 19: Relatives of Palestinian AbdelRahman al-Shaludi, blamed for killing two Israelis in a deadly vehicular attack last month, inspect the their family home after it was destroyed by Israeli forces in Silwan neighborhood, east Jerusalem on November 19, 2014. (Photo by Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM NOVEMBER 19: Nibraz al-Shaludi (14), sister of Palestinian AbdelRahman al-Shaludi blamed for killing two Israelis in a deadly vehicular attack last month, inspects the damage at her family home after it was destroyed by Israeli forces in Silwan neighborhood, east Jerusalem on November 19, 2014. (Photo by Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM NOVEMBER 19: A Palestinian girl looks at the damaged home of Palestinian AbdelRahman al-Shaludi, blamed for killing two Israelis in a deadly vehicular attack last month, after it was destroyed by Israeli forces in Silwan neighborhood, east Jerusalem on November 19, 2014. (Photo by Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM NOVEMBER 19: A car is damaged as Israeli forces demolishes the home of Palestinian AbdelRahman al-Shaludi, blamed for killing two Israelis in a deadly vehicular attack last month, in Silwan neighborhood, east Jerusalem on November 19, 2014. (Photo by Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM NOVEMBER 19: Relatives of Palestinian AbdelRahman al-Shaludi, blamed for killing two Israelis in a deadly vehicular attack last month, inspect the their family home after it was destroyed by Israeli forces in Silwan neighborhood, east Jerusalem on November 19, 2014. (Photo by Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Masked Palestinians hold knifes and axes as they celebrate an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue while standing in front of a poster of the attackers,Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal, during a rally in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with a gun and meat cleavers burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead in the bloodiest attack in the city in years. AFP PHOTO/ SAID KHATIB (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 18: (ISRAEL OUT) (EDITOR'S NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT) This handout image supplied by the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO), shows a view of the scene of a shooting at a Synagogue where a suspected Palestinian attack took place on November 18, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Four Israelis have been killed and several others wounded in a terror attack this morning in a synagogue in the western Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. Two Palestinian assailants were killed at the scene by police. (Photo by Kobi Gideon / GPO via Getty Images)
In memory of Rabbi Twersky HY'D, beloved rebbi/teacher/mentor to thousands at Toras Moshe ("To-Mo"). http://t.co/fADVpmGirE
Rabbi Moshe Twersky Laid To Rest - http://t.co/rk9CXR4nj9 http://t.co/s74reo90o0
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Liverpool rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg killed in Jerusalem terror attack caught on film http://t.co/Tj1PnShFhI http://t.co/3YWRK8KPUQ
Israeli security forces secure the scene on November 18, 2014, after two Palestinians attacked a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem. The attack, that killed four Israelis, began shortly before 7am (0500 GMT) as worshippers were attending morning prayers. AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli security forces secure the scene after two Palestinians attacked a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. The attack, that killed four Israelis, began shortly before 7am (0500 GMT) as worshippers were attending morning prayers. AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)
Ultra-orthodox Jews watch the scene on November 18, 2014, after two Palestinians attacked a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem. The attack, that killed four Israelis, began shortly before 7am (0500 GMT) as worshippers were attending morning prayers. AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)
GRAPHIC CONTENT Israeli Zaka emergency services volunteers evacuate the body of one of two Palestinian assailants who were shot dead while attacking a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. The attack, that killed four Israelis, began shortly before 7am (0500 GMT) as worshippers were attending morning prayers. AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli security forces stand next to the body of one of two Palestinian assailants who were shot dead while attacking a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. The attack, that killed four Israelis, began shortly before 7am (0500 GMT) as worshippers were attending morning prayers. AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli Zaka emergency services volunteers carry the body of a Palestinian assailant who was shot dead while attacking a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with a gun and axes attacked a Jerusalem synagogue killing four Israelis, police said. AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli Zaka emergency services volunteers carry the body of one of the two Palestinian assailants who were shot dead while attacking a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. The attack, that killed four Israelis, began shortly before 7am (0500 GMT) as worshippers were attending morning prayers. AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian woman throws sweets as she celebrates an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue while standing near a poster of the attackers,Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal, during a rally in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with a gun and meat cleavers burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead in the bloodiest attack in the city in years. AFP PHOTO/ SAID KHATIB (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
Masked Palestinians hold knifes and axes as they celebrate an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue during a rally in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with a gun and meat cleavers burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead in the bloodiest attack in the city in years. AFP PHOTO/ SAID KHATIB (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) supporter distributes sweets as he celebrates an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with a gun and meat cleavers burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead in the bloodiest attack in the city in years. AFP PHOTO/ MOHAMMED ABED (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
A masked Palestinian holds a knife as he celebrates an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue while standing next to a poster of the attackers,Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal, during a rally in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with a gun and meat cleavers burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead in the bloodiest attack in the city in years. AFP PHOTO/ SAID KHATIB (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
An Israli security member stands outside a synagogue that was attacked by two Palestinians earlier in the morning in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with a gun and meat cleavers burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead in the bloodiest attack in the city in years. AFP PHOTO/ JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
An Ultra-orthodox Jewish man walks past synagogue, with bullet holes in the window, that was attacked by two Palestinians earlier in the morning in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with a gun and meat cleavers burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead in the bloodiest attack in the city in years. AFP PHOTO/ JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 18: (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains graphic content.) Israeli police crime scene investigators stand near bodies of suspected attackers outside a synagogue on November 18, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Four Israelis have been killed and several others wounded in a terror attack this morning in a synagogue in the western Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. Two Palestinian assailants were killed at the scene by police. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 18: Israeli emergency personnel clean the site outside a synagogue on November 18, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Four Israelis have been killed and several others wounded in a terror attack this morning in a synagogue in the western Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. Two Palestinian assailants were killed at the scene by police. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 18: Israeli orthodox examines car outside a synagogue on November 18, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Four Israelis have been killed and several others wounded in a terror attack this morning in a synagogue in the western Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. Two Palestinian assailants were killed at the scene by police.(Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 18: Israeli emergency personnel clean the site outside a synagogue on November 18, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Four Israelis have been killed and several others wounded in a terror attack this morning in a synagogue in the western Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. Two Palestinian assailants were killed at the scene by police. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
An Israeli emergency services member cleans the sidewalk at the scene of an attack, by two Palestinians, on Israeli worshippers at a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with a gun and axes burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead, in the deadliest attack in the city in years.AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
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