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World leaders condemn ‘heinous’ Jerusalem synagogue massacre

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(i24) ‘It is particularly abhorrent that the attack occurred at a place of worship, and on the very day we commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day’

U.S. President Joe Biden, UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres and other world leaders condemned the “heinous” terrorist attack at a synagogue in east Jerusalem that took place on Friday evening.

Many of them highlighted that the deadliest Palestinian attack since 2008 that left at least seven dead and several others wounded, took place on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The perpetrator was a 21-year-old resident of east Jerusalem Alqam Kheiri, who was previously unknown to the authorities. Although no terrorist organization claimed responsibility for the attack, Gaza’s extremist groups Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad praised the massacre, which was met with celebrations and fireworks in the cities across the West Bank.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement that the United States “will extend our full support to the government and people of Israel.”

“We strongly condemn the heinous terror attack that took place this evening at a synagogue in Jerusalem, and are shocked and saddened by the loss of life, including the killing of at least eight innocent victims. The attack tragically occurred on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, when the memory of those lost in the Holocaust is commemorated around the world,” the statement said.

It added that President Biden ordered his national security team “to engage immediately with Israeli counterparts to offer all appropriate support in assisting the wounded and bringing the perpetrators of this horrible crime to justice.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken shared his condemnation for the terrorist attack on Twitter.

“Our thoughts are with the Israeli people following the terrorist attack in Jerusalem. It is particularly tragic on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. We condemn this attack and express our condolences to the victims’ families. May their memory be a blessing,” he wrote.

U.S. State Department said the attack would not impact Blinken’s visit to Israel that is scheduled for next week.

UN Secretary-General Gutteres also strongly condemned the attack.

“It is particularly abhorrent that the attack occurred at a place of worship, and on the very day we commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day. There is never any excuse for acts of terrorism. They must be clearly condemned and rejected by all,” his statement said.

“The Secretary-General is deeply worried about the current escalation of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. This is the moment to exercise utmost restraint,” it warned.

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said that London stands “with our Israeli friends.”

“To attack worshippers at a synagogue on Holocaust Memorial Day, and during Shabbat, is horrific,” he underlined.

The United Arab Emirates joined in expressing their support for Israel and the victims “of this heinous crime.” A statement issued by the Emirati Foreign Affairs Ministry affirmed that Abu Dhabi “expresses its strong condemnation of the criminal act and its permanent rejection of all forms of violence and terrorism aimed at undermining security and stability in contravention of human values and principles.”

Turkey’s foreign ministry also expressed their support to the people of Israel.

“We strongly condemn the terror attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem where many people lost their lives. We offer our condolences to the families of the victims, the Israeli government and people. We wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” Turkey said.

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