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Nov 19, 2014 2:18 AM

Israelis return to attacked Jerusalem synagogue

The Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) Jewish worshippers returned Wednesday to a Jerusalem synagogue that was the scene of a horrific attack that killed five people the day before as Palestinians braced for more punitive home demolitions amid soaring tensions.

At the Kehilat Bnai Torah synagogue in the western neighborhood of Har Nof attacked Tuesday by two Palestinian cousins wielding meat cleavers, knives and a handgun people sought comfort in prayer. Those killed included four members of the congregation and an Israeli policeman trying to stop the attack. Israeli security forces killed both assailants in a subsequent shootout.

One of the worshippers, Gavriel Cohen, said Wednesday that the attack showed "that our future in this world is dependent on God."

Also early Wednesday, Israeli security forces demolished the east Jerusalem home of Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, the Palestinian who killed two people in October in an attack on commuters at a crowded light rail platform in Jerusalem. Al-Shaludi was killed by police after the attack.

The demolition followed angry promises by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel would take strict measures to deal with a rising wave of Palestinian attacks that in recent weeks have taken 11 lives nine in Jerusalem, one in Tel Aviv and one in the West Bank.

Sitting amid the rubble inside the family's destroyed house, al-Shaludi's grandmother said she was proud.

"No one should feel sorry for us, for our demolished home," she said, refusing to give her name for fear of reprisals.

Netanyahu has vowed to revive the controversial policy of home demolitions, which Israel halted in 2005 after determining it wasn't an effective deterrent for attacks.

Much of the recent violence stems from Palestinian anger over stepped-up Israeli visits to a contested holy site in Jerusalem, visits that Palestinians see as a provocation. The site referred to by Jews as the Temple Mount and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary is the most sacred place in Judaism and the third holiest site in Islam.


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