Guterres strongly condemns attack at Jerusalem synagogue which left at least seven Israelis dead
According to news reports, the incident happened in the Neve Yaakov district in the middle of the evening local time. Israeli police said the attacker, identified as a Palestinian from the Shu’fat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem, had been “neutralized” at the scene.
In a statement issued by his Spokesperson, António Guterres extended his heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed, and wished a prompt recovery for those injured.
‘Abhorrent’ assault, on Holocaust Memorial Day
“It is particularly abhorrent that the attack occurred at a place of worship, and on the very day we commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day”, the statement said.
No excuse for terror
“There is never any excuse for acts of terrorism. They must be clearly condemned and rejected by all.”
Friday’s incident followed on from a worrying escalation in violence in recent months, and the deaths of nine Palestinians, militants and well as several civilians, at a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin on Thursday, following an Israeli raid targeting what they said was an active group of Islamic Jihad militants.
Palestinian militants in Gaza launched rockets into Israel in response, which Israeli forces met with air strikes on the Palestinian enclave.
‘Utmost restraint’ needed
“The Secretary-General is deeply worried about the current escalation of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory”, said the statement. “This is the moment to exercise utmost restraint.”
The Security Council met behind closed doors to discuss the escalating crisis on Friday afternoon in New York.
The High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Miguel Ángel Moratinos, who is tasked with building bridges between faiths and fighting antisemitism, also issued a statement strongly condemning what he described as an “horrific terrorist attack” on Jewish worshippers, after Friday Sabbath prayers.
“The High-Representative stresses that such a heinous crime is unjustifiable whenever, wherever and by whomsoever committed”, the statement added.