JERUSALEM (JTA) – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the terror attack by Palestinian assailants on a synagogue in Jerusalem.
The condemnation came hours after the Tuesday morning attack with guns, knives and axes on worshippers at the synagogue and rabbinical seminary during morning services.
Shortly after the attack, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, called on Abbas and other Palestinian leaders to condemn the attack, which he called “an act of pure terror and senseless brutality and murder.”
Abbas’ office said in a statement that the presidency always denounces the killing of civilians by any party, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported, and denounced Tuesday’s attack.
“The presidency also denounces all violent acts no matter who their source is, and demands an end to the ongoing incursions into the Al-Aksa Mosque and the provocative acts by Israeli settlers as well as incitement by some Israeli ministers,” the statement added.
The armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror organization in a statement posted on its Facebook page and in other social media claimed responsibility for the attack and called it a “normal reaction to the crimes of the occupation.”
The assailants, identified as cousins Uday and Ghassan Abu Jamal of the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber were members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Police reportedly began searching the homes of the assailants after the attack and arrested some family members. Palestinian reports say the assailants are relatives of terrorists released in the exchange to return Gilad Schalit.