Pope Francis has voiced concern over rising tensions and violence in Jerusalem, as he condemned a violent attack at a synagogue which left five people dead.
Two Palestinian men stormed into the Bnei Torah Kehilat Yaakov synagogue yesterday morning and killed four Rabbis, including a British-Israeli. A policeman later died of his injuries.
The men, who were armed with a meat cleaver and a knife, were shot dead in a gunfight with police at the scene.
In his first appearance since yesterday’s attack, Pope Francis told St Peter’s Square:
I'm following with concern the alarming increase in tension in Jerusalem and other areas of the Holy Land, with unacceptable episodes of violence that do not spare even religious sites.
The attack was the latest in a string of violence in recent weeks in a dispute over Jerusalem’s holiest site, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount.
Israeli security forces have today blown up the house of a Palestinian man who ran over and killed three people, including a three-month-old baby girl, at a tram stop in Jerusalem last month.
It comes just a day after two militants killed four rabbis and a policeman in an attack at a synagogue in the city.
The military said the home of 21-year-old Abdel-Rahman Shaloudi was destroyed shortly before dawn.
Shaloudi was shot dead by police as he tried to run after mowing down the commuters on October 22, which his family claim was nothing more than an accident.
His house, in the Silwan area of Jerusalem, has been the scene of several confrontations since the incident.
The Israeli army has recently begun carrying out court-sanctioned demolitions of militants’ homes again, after giving up the practice in 2005.
A fifth person has died following the attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem, a police spokesperson has confirmed to ITV News.
The fifth victim was a police man, and one of the first to respond to the attack, local media sources said.
Thousands of mourners have been attending the funerals of the four people killed in an attack by Palestinian militants on a synagogue in Jerusalem earlier today.
Among the dead is a 68-year-old Rabbi originally from Liverpool, who has duel Israeli-British citizenship. His family have told ITV News they are shell-shocked by his senseless murder. President Obama condemned the killings, saying there was no justification for attacks against innocent civilians, whilst Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to respond with a "heavy hand".
Middle East Correspondent Geraint Vincent reports.
The former Foreign Office minister said it was important to see the attacks as part of a wider increase in tensions in the region.Read the full story ›
The cousin of the British Rabbi killed in the synagogue attack in Jerusalem said she was very privileged to have known him.
In an interview with ITV News Michelle Hirschfield described her cousin as "caring and peaceful", and said the whole community was shell-shocked by his senseless murder.
The family of Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg said they could not understand how the men that killed him could have such a disregard for human life.
Mr Goldberg, who was born in Liverpool and holds dual British-Israeli citizenship, was among four people killed after militants stormed a synagogue in Jerusalem. In a statement to ITV News, his immediate family said:
It's a massive waste of life, we cannot understand how people have no value for human life.
The British man who was killed during the Jerusalem synagogue attack "only wanted peace", his relatives said.
Avraham Shmuel Goldberg was one of four people murdered when two militants stormed the building and attacked worshippers with knives, axes and guns before being shot by police.
Mr Goldberg was 68 and was married with six children, as well as several grandchildren and great grandchildren.
His cousin Michelle Hirschfield told the BBC:
He was a peaceful man, not politically involved. He only wanted peace.
It is thought Mr Goldberg moved to Israel from Golders Green, north London, in the early 1990s. He held dual British-Israeli citizenship.
US President Obama has condemned the attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem where three US citizens died as a terrorist act, saying "there is and can be no justification against attacks against innocent civilians". He called for Israeli and Palestinian leaders and citizens to work together to lower tensions.
I strongly condemn today’s terrorist attack on worshipers at a synagogue in Jerusalem, which killed four innocent people, including U.S. citizens Aryeh Kupinsky, Cary William Levine, and Mosheh Twersky, and injured several more.
There is and can be no justification for such attacks against innocent civilians. The thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the victims and families of all those who were killed and injured in this horrific attack and in other recent violence.
At this sensitive moment in Jerusalem, it is all the more important for Israeli and Palestinian leaders and ordinary citizens to work cooperatively together to lower tensions, reject violence, and seek a path forward towards peace
Dozens of police officers clashed with Palestinians in the Jabal Mukaber area of east Jerusalem as they raided homes and made several arrests.
The raids come as Israeli police named cousins Ghassan and Udai Abu Jamal, from Jabal Mukaber, as being responsible for the synagogue attack which killed four people, including one British-Israeli.
Police fired tear gas as residents of the neighbourhood threw stones. According to witnesses Israeli policemen forced their way into homes to conduct searches and several arrests were made.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a militant group, said the cousins were its members, but did not specify whether they had instructed the cousins to carry out the attack.