Four Rabbis Killed in Jerusalem
On November 18th, 2014, various media outlets reported that four Jewish rabbis were killed in a Synagogue in Jerusalem. According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, two cousins, Ghassan and Oday Abu Jamal, who lived in the Jabal Mukaber area within East Jerusalem, entered into the synagogue with meat cleavers, as well as with a gun, and carried out the killings of the rabbis. Both Ghassan and Oday were killed by Israeli police forces. In the fighting, it was also reported that one of the police officers also died after sustained injuries.
The actions carried out against the rabbis is horrific, and amounts to nothing short of a hate crime. These individuals were simply praying, and they were ruthlessly attacked and killed by these two individuals. And while many actors quickly condemned the actions (such as Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of Fatah and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), others sadly supported that attacks. For example, it has been reported that The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine was behind the killings. But what is also troubling is that some in Gaza, as well as the West Bank, were happy with what transpired. This is highly disturbing, and it indeed is shameful for those who supported such a crime.
These actions come as the situation in East Jerusalem is worsening. It is important that actors do not move towards violence, but rather, try to look for meaningful ways of peace in this situation. All actors must condemn any violence, and must bring real solutions to discussions about the religious sites, as well as other points of contention. Actors must continue to speak out against any such actions, as innocent lives were taken. Citizens of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories must be protected at all times, and without such protections, sadly there is a concern that the situation in the region will continue to get worse.