3 American Rabbis Among 5 Dead in Jerusalem Attack

In this Nov. 7, 2014 file photo Palestinians throw rocks and shoot fireworks during clashes with Israeli border police, as Israeli police limited the access to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. 2014 has been a difficult year for Israelis and Palestinians, with the failure of peace talks and a string of violent incidents that shows no signs of ending. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)
In this Nov. 7, 2014 file photo Palestinians throw rocks and shoot fireworks during clashes with Israeli border police, as Israeli police limited the access to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. 2014 has been a difficult year for Israelis and Palestinians, with the failure of peace talks and a string of violent incidents that shows no signs of ending. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)
In this Nov. 7, 2014 file photo Palestinians throw rocks and shoot fireworks during clashes with Israeli border police, as Israeli police limited the access to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. 2014 has been a difficult year for Israelis and Palestinians, with the failure of peace talks and a string of violent incidents that shows no signs of ending. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)

 

JERUSALEM (USA Today) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to “respond harshly” after five people — three of them U.S.-born rabbis — were killed in a synagogue Tuesday by two Palestinians wielding meat cleavers, an ax and a gun.

The incident was the latest violent event in the tense city where relations between Arabs and Jews have been deteriorating for weeks over a contested shrine holy to both Jews and Muslims.

Netanyahu immediately ordered the demolition of the attackers’ homes, as well as homes of Palestinians who carried out several recent attacks.

Four of the dead were rabbis and one was a police officer who died of his wounds hours after the attack. Three of the rabbis were born in the United States, and the fourth was born in England, although all held dual Israeli citizenship.

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