JERUSALEM (JTA) — The United States Consulate in Jerusalem said in a security message to Americans in Israel that the deadly attack on a Jerusalem synagogue demonstrated “low-level coordination.”
“Today’s incident differs from recent attacks, potentially demonstrating low-level coordination to attack a pre-identified soft target as opposed to an opportunistic random act of violence. While we cannot predict where and when attacks may take place, we have consistently seen a cycle of violence in East Jerusalem neighborhoods following incidents like the one today,” the consulate said in the message posted on its website and emailed to Americans registered with the consulate or State Department.
The message came less than a day after an attack at a Jerusalem synagogue by two Palestinian assailants from eastern Jerusalem affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine left five dead and seven injured. Three of the dead were dual American and Israeli citizens. The FBI reportedly is participating in the investigation of the attack.
The consulate’s message urged Americans in Israel to “make yourself a ‘harder target’ and raise your situational awareness” when visiting “soft targets” such as hotels, clubs, restaurants, shopping centers, identifiable Western businesses, housing compounds, transportation systems, places of worship, schools, or public recreation events, which the message said often have little or no security in place.
The message said that there is no information to support a belief that the American victims were targeted because they were American citizens.