November 18, 2014 — New York, NY
AJC is appalled by the cold-blooded Palestinian terrorist attack on a Jerusalem synagogue during morning prayers today. Four Jewish worshipers were killed by two men who used guns and axes, and six others were wounded, one in critical condition. The two terrorists were killed by Israeli police.
“Palestinians, encouraged by an increasingly fiery rhetoric from Hamas and Fatah leaders, including religious incitement, are seeking to murder with abandon,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. The synagogue attack brings to 10 the number of Israelis murdered in the past month, including a three-month-old child.
“Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s unconvincing statements do not calm the situation, but instead, tragically, are inciting more violence against Jews,” said Harris. “Abbas must be crystal clear in speaking to his own people that violence against Israelis is totally unacceptable and firmly rejected by the PA, or else he should give up any pretense of being Israel's putative peace partner in the quest for a two-state accord.”
In his comment on the synagogue attack, Abbas also called on Israelis “to stop the interference at Al-Aqsa,” referring to the mosque situated on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City.
“Abbas knows full well that Israel has no designs on the Muslim holy places in Jerusalem, and, in fact, has made every effort to safeguard them,” said Harris. “Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeatedly stated that Israel will not change the status quo of the Temple Mount area, even as the site is sacred to the Jewish people as well -- and has been since long before the advent of Islam. Indeed, Israel deserves credit for respecting Muslim sensitivities and seeking to avoid interfaith tensions there."
“Meanwhile, will the international community, and especially those European nations which closely follow events in the Middle East, unambiguously condemn this latest attack and the incitement that surrounds it? It's high time to see the stark truth of the dangers that confront Israel -- and to voice it.”