Lawmakers condemn deadly Jerusalem attack

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle called on the Palestinian Authority president to do more to condemn the Tuesday attack of four rabbis, including three Israeli-Americans, in Jerusalem.

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas issued a statement on Tuesday condemning the "killing of civilians on either side, and condemns today the killing of worshippers at a synagogue in west Jerusalem.”


But Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) called on Abbas to do so "officially and publicly."

"The PA must officially and publicly -- in English, Hebrew, and Arabic -- condemn this attack, and reject its perpetrators," said Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

On Tuesday, two Palestinians stormed a synagogue with axes, knives and a gun, and killed the four rabbis and wounded several more.

"Today's attack is yet another example of the Palestinian Authority’s campaign of incitement to violence against Israelis and Jews," Royce said. "Every PA-condoned attack leads Palestinians further down the path of despair.”

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s ranking member, said one of the victims had family in Riverdale, New York.

"They are my constituents and my friends, and they have been forced to bury a lost loved one. No family anywhere should have to endure such a tragedy," he said. “Murdering innocents and using terrorism as a political tool will never succeed in bringing about a Palestinian state."

The Israeli-American rabbis were Aryeh Kupinsky, Cary William Levine and Mosheh Twersky.

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison Acting Defense chief calls Graham an 'ally' after tense exchange William Barr is right man for the times MORE (D-N.J.) said Twersky has a son who lives in Lakewood, New Jersey. "I stand alongside the Twersky family and Lakewood community during this period of mourning," he said.

“This tragedy demands a forceful response from President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. His words of condemnation are welcome, but must be followed up by a sincere demonstration of leadership," said Menendez, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9 Senate Dems petition Saudi king to release dissidents, US citizen Court-packing becomes new litmus test on left MORE (D-Calif.) also condemned the attack and said she hoped all sides exercise maximum restraint and avoid retaliation in the coming days.

"If we are to have any future chance of achieving peaceful coexistence and a two state solution, then the violence must end now," she said.

“We must demand that Palestinian leaders stop the incitement, which they have committed in word and in deed. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Israel," Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRepublicans need solutions on environment too Trio of NFL players intern on Capitol Hill as part of league program Trump keeps tight grip on GOP MORE (R-Ky.) said in a statement.

"The nation of Israel and its people continue to have my full support,” said Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio).

Dozens of other lawmakers condemned of the attack on Twitter.

The president issued a statement earlier Tuesday condemning the attack, and calling on both sides to work together.

"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," he said.