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US condemns Jerusalem gun attack which left two dead

Relatives and friends mourn over the grave of Israeli policeman Yosef Kirma who was killed by a Palestinian assailant. Credit: Reuters

The US government has condemned a shooting spree in Jerusalem that left a police officer and pedestrian dead near Israel's national police headquarters.

US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement: "The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack that took place today in Jerusalem."

The victims were identified as Levana Malihi, a 60-year-old grandmother, and police sergeant Yosef Kirma, 29.

Six other people were injured in the attack, which was reportedly carried out by a 39-year-old Palestinian assailant.

At least 21 injured in Jerusalem bus explosion

At least 21 people have been wounded in a bus explosion in Jerusalem, Israeli police said.

Images from local television reports showed smoke billowing from a bus in Derech Hebron, southwest Jerusalem.

Police said the explosion was caused by an "explosive device" but are not sure if it was a terrorist attack.

Israel Police Foreign Press Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld tweeted:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu linked the blast to six months of Palestinian street violence.

"We will settle accounts with these terrorists," Netanyahu said of those behind the attack.

"We are in a protracted struggle against terror - knife terror, shooting terror, bomb terror and also tunnel terror," he added, following Israel's discovery of an underground passage dug by Hamas militants from Gaza.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Two of the casualties had not yet been identified and may have been bombers.


Israeli police shoot dead alleged Palestinian attacker

Israeli security forces shot dead a Palestinian man today after he reportedly stabbed two police officers in Jerusalem.

Police shot dead the man after he wounded two officers in a knife attack Credit: Reuters

The alleged attacker was shot by officers after an assault on two officers outside the walled Old City.

Israeli police described the man as a "terrorist," saying he had "stabbed and lightly wounded" his victims.

"The team responded by gunfire and neutralised the terrorist," police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.

In a continued state of heightened violence, 164 Palestinians and 28 Israelis have been killed since October.


Israeli forces carry out PM Benjamin Netanyahu's threat

Israeli forces have carried out the threat of their Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to settle scores with the Palestinian terrorists who murdered five people in a Jerusalem synagogue yesterday.

The home of one of the killers' families was blown up.

Today, faithful to their religious routine, Jewish worshippers were back at the synagogue where the killings took place.

From there, ITV News Middle East Correspondent, Geraint Vincent, reports:

Defiant synagogue worshippers return to scene of killings

Worshippers have today returned to a Jerusalem synagogue where four rabbis and a policeman were killed by armed raiders yesterday, vowing they would not be intimidated.

The bloodstains have been washed away and four memorial candles lit, with officers now stationed outside the Kehillat Bnei Torah synagogue amid fears of growing violence.

Worshippers have returned to the synagogue in Jerusalem where the fatal attack took place yesterday Credit: Reuters

Among the dead was British-Israeli rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, originally from Liverpool. He and three American rabbis were killed during morning prayers by two Palestinian militants, while the policeman died later from his injuries.

One member of the synagogue, Avraham Burkei, said the congregation would not be cowed into changing their routine.

It's a little scary, but we're going to have to go on with our lives.

We're staying here, we're not moving anywhere. This terrorist attack is not going to change anything.

– Avraham Burkei, synagogue member

Pope Francis condemns rising violence in Jerusalem

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.

Pope Francis at the Vatican today, where he expressed concern over rising tensions in Jerusalem Credit: Reuters

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.

– Pope Francis

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.

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