WASHINGTON (CNN) — Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday condemned the attack on a Jerusalem synagogue that killed four Israelis as “an act of pure terror.”
Kerry, who is currently in London, joined the Israeli government in labeling the attack as an act of terrorism. Two axe- and knife-wielding Palestinians broke into the synagogue earlier Tuesday, killing four and wounding six others.
“Our hearts go out to all Israelis for the atrocity of this event and for all the reminders of history that go with it,” Kerry said. “This simply has no place in human behavior and we need to hear from leaders who are going to lead their people to a different place.”
Israeli spokesman Micky Rosenfeld later told CNN that three of the men killed in the attack held dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship. The fourth victim was a dual British-Israeli citizen.
And the FBI is launching an investigation into the attack because three of the victims are U.S. citizens, a law enforcement official said.
A member of the PLO executive committee would not outright condemn the attack instead pointing to “the continuing escalation by the Israeli occupation and the targeting of Palestinian civilians” as provocation that led to the attacks, though she did note that she doesn’t “think violence is justified or can produce any results.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called up his security advisers to determine a response to the attack.
Meanwhile, Hamas did not claim responsibility for the attack but a senior Hamas official Ghazi Hamad told Al Jazeera International “there will be more revolution in Jerusalem, and more uprising,” stating that Hamas “supports action against the occupation.”
The attacks come amid an increase in terror attacks in Israel as tensions ratchet up between Israelis and Palestinians as stabbing attacks have become increasingly common in recent weeks in front of a backdrop of continued clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem and the West Bank.