At least five killed in attack on Jerusalem synagogue
At least five people were killed in an attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem, Israeli security and medics said Friday.
Israeli police said they shot and killed the suspected gunman who attacked the synagogue, which occurred as people took part in religious services marking Shabbat. Five others were wounded in the attack.
State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel called reports that a gunman opened fire on the synagogue “absolutely horrific” and called it an “apparent terrorist attack.”
“We are in direct touch with our Israeli partners. And our thoughts are with the Israeli people in light of this horrific event,” he said.
The attack took place on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
A series of violent confrontations have occurred between Israelis and Palestinians over the past 48 hours that build on months of tensions. The last year was one of the deadliest in history in terms of fatalities in fighting between Israelis and Palestinians.
Israel reportedly carried out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Friday in response to rocket fire claimed to be shot by the Islamic Jihad movement, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization.
The rocket fire came after Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reportedly killed at least two Palestinian civilians and injured others while carrying out a security raid against a terrorist threat in the Palestinian city of Jenin in the West Bank.
At least seven members of two U.S.-designated terrorist groups, Islamic Jihad and Hamas, were killed in the IDF raid in Jenin, Reuters reported.
National security adviser John Kirby told reporters on Friday that the administration has been “closely engaged with both the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority on this recent violence, and have been urging de-escalation.” That message is expected to be reinforced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken when he travels to the region next week.
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