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Four Israelis, two Palestinians killed in Jerusalem Synagogue attack
Tuesday November 18, 2014 8:03 PM, IINA

An attack on a synagogue in West Jerusalem has killed at least four Israelis and two Palestinian attackers, police said.

Jerusalem attack
[Israeli police crime scene investigators stand near bodies of suspected attackers outside a Jerusalem synagogue November 18, 2014. (Photo: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun) ]

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed a "harsh response" to Tuesday's early morning assault on the Har Nof Synagogue. Palestinian group Hamas welcomed the attack and said it was "a natural reaction to Israel's practices" against the Palestinians.

Israeli police spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, confirmed the attack and the death toll in a Twitter post. Seven more Israelis were injured in the attack, Al Jazeera reported.

The men, who were identified as being from Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, managed to get inside the synagogue before being shot dead by police. Rosenfeld said it wasn't immediately clear what weapons the suspects used to attack worshippers.

Dekker said there were conflicting reports on what arms were used, with some saying the men were armed with knives and axes. Earlier reports said the attackers were armed with guns. The area has been cordoned off by police, television footage showed.

The latest violence comes after months of tension between Israelis and Palestinians in the city, which is divided between a largely Arab east and a mostly Jewish west. Late on Sunday, a Palestinian bus driver was found hanged in the vehicle.

Israeli police said he killed himself, but many Palestinians believe he was killed by Jewish settlers. At least six Israelis have been killed in a spate of attacks over the past few weeks.

"Everyone expected this to happen. Jerusalem is boiling," Ghazi Hamad, a senior Hamas official, told Al Jazeera. "Yesterday, the Israeli forces demolished the houses of the Palestinians who attacked Israelis but they never punish Israeli attackers. We are expecting more violence."

Jerusalem has also seen confrontations, that sometimes turned deadly, around the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque in the eastern side of the city.

Palestinians are angry at what they say are repeated attempts by right-wing Jews to enter the Muslim-run compound housing the mosque.

The compound is also considered by Jews to be a holy site. Palestinians also complain that Israeli forces impose restrictions on Muslim worshippers trying to pray there.

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