Obama condemns synagogue attack, calls for calm in Jerusalem


WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama named the three American victims in denouncing a terrorist attack in Jerusalem and called for calm to prevail in the city.

“I strongly condemn today’s terrorist attack on worshippers at a synagogue in Jerusalem, which killed four innocent people, including U.S. citizens Aryeh Kupinsky, Cary William Levine, and Mosheh Twersky, and injured several more,” Obama said in a statement Tuesday.

Kupinsky, 43; Levine, 55; and Twersky, 60, were all dual U.S.-Israel citizens. Also killed was a dual British-Israeli citizen, Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 68.

“There is and can be no justification for such attacks against innocent civilians,” Obama said. “At this sensitive moment in Jerusalem, it is all the more important for Israeli and Palestinian leaders and ordinary citizens to work cooperatively together to lower tensions, reject violence, and seek a path forward towards peace.”

On Tuesday night, Druze police officer Zidan Saif, 30, died of gunshot wounds suffered in the shootout with the assailants.

Israel and Palestinian leaders in recent weeks have exchanged accusations that the other side is provoking violence in the city centered on access rights to the Temple Mount, the holiest Jewish site, known to Muslims as the Haram a-Sharif, the third holiest site in Islam.

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