14:03: Israel Police nationwide move to level 3 alert, one below its highest level.
The names of the three other Kedoshim HY”D:
The levayas of the three kedoshim will begin in front of Kehillas Bnei Torah, the site of the attack, at 3PM and proceed to Har Menuchos.
1. Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg
2. Rabbi Kalman Ze’ev Levine
3. Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky
The levaya of the fourth victim, Rabbi Moshe Twersky will take place at 2PM at Yeshiva Beis HaTalmud and then to Har Menuchos.
13:33: Eight attack victims remain hospitalized in Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital and Shaare Zedek Medical Center. Three of the victims in Hadassah are listed in serious condition.
13:30: The levayas of three of the kedoshim will begin in front of the site of the attack, Kehillas Bnei Torah, 5 Agassi Street in Har Nof. The three levayas will proceed from the shul to Har Menuchos for kvura. The levayas will get underway at 3PM.
13:25: The condition of the policeman who was gravely injured in his head by gunfire has reportedly improved slightly, now showing “a measure of stability”. He is in Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.
13:00: Israel Police Chief Yochanan Danino orders the cancelation of all vacations of members of the force.
HaGaon HaRav Shalom Cohen Shlita:
12:55: Rabbi Shalom Cohen Shlita, head of the Shas Moetzas Gedolei Yisrael explains that the bitul Torah and complacency are contributory causes to such horrific acts calling on the tzibur to add additional limud Torah and tefilos to their daily schedules.
12:52: Arab violence and attacks against security forces in clashes taking place in the Ramallah area, Jabil Mukhaber (Jerusalem) and Adam Junction in the southern Shomron.
12:48: Names of victims for tefilos bsoch cholei Am Yisrael:
חיים יחיאל בן מלכה
איתן בן שרה
שמואל ירוחם בן ביילה
אברהם שמואל בן שיינה
אריה בן ברכה
Rav of the Kosel Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz Shlita:
12:41: I call on Muslim leaders to work to halt the bloodshed and incitement, especially amid the realization they too are aware there is no reason for the last wave of incitement.
12:37: Police surveillance balloon operating over the Shuafat area of the capital.
Former Jerusalem Police Chief Aryeh Amit
12:15: Every citizen who has a gun should carry it. The way the government has been handling the escalation in attacks is not satisfactory and one cannot be surprised that attacks continue for the matter is not being handled as it should be.
The policy making it close to impossible to get a legal handgun today is nothing more than hysteria and it does nothing to better the situation.
There is an enormous amount of illegal handguns in the Arab and criminal sectors but my son who is a paratrooper cannot get a gun permit. We live in the Mideast here, not Hawaii and citizens should be able to get a weapon. Those who have one must carry it everywhere.
12:05: Terrorists waited at the scene for a period of time until there were about 20-25 mispallalim in the shul. The shot and swung their hatchets for about seven minutes before they were neutralized by police.
Statement from US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro via Facebook:
12:03: Today’s vicious terrorist attack at Kehilat Yaakov synagogue in Har Nof in Jerusalem represents a barbaric new low in the sad and outrageous history of such attacks.
Murdering worshippers at prayer in a synagogue is an act if pure, unadulterated evil.
On behalf of the United States government and the American people, I condemn this terrorist attack in the strongest possible terms. There is no possible justification for such an act of violence.
Beyond the terrorists who were killed by police responding to the attack, any others involved must be held responsible and brought to justice. While terrorist organizations like Hamas, true to form, are already praising these murders, anyone else who places a claim to responsible leadership must clearly condemn this outrage and any acts of incitement that can inspire events like these.
I also want to offer our deepest condolences to the families of those murdered in the attack. Yihi Zichram Baruch. And we pray for Refuah Shlemah for those who were wounded.
11:54: At least nine family members of the terrorists responsible for today’s attack are in custody at this time.
Uriel Elbaz, Head of the Har Nof Community Council:
11:53: Volunteers are manning the office and we are preparing to address the community, aware many people will be in need of assistance. There are close to 40 shuls in the community and many people fear what occurred today can occur against chas v’sholom. We will be meeting with the mayor at 12:30 to see how we can restore security to the capital for the current situation may not be permitted to continue.
We are working with authorities to restore security to our community as well.
Deputy Minister of Religious Services Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan:
11:49: The situation calls for drastic measures. Anyone and everyone that plays any role in such attacks must be deported immediately and their homes razed without the possibility of rebuilding them.
Regarding PA (Palestinian Authority) incitement Ben-Dahan feels Israel must use its technological abilities and jam PA radio and television to stop the ongoing PA incitement. The minister feels placing concrete blocks in place signals weakness, calling on the government to go on the offensive.
“Until this is done we must return to the days of old and anyone with a licensed weapon must carry it and bring it to shul and remain vigilant. To think there will be a guard in every shul in Israel is not realistic for there are some 11,000 shuls nationwide. If we only take the defensive and not the offensive, all the measures will be for naught. Terrorists must realize the price paid for such attacks will be so severe they will think twice.”
11:45: The municipality has launched a hotline number for Har Nof residents. The number is 02-651-9026.
Har Nof Rabbonim Conferring Regarding Levayas:
11:44: Rabbonim in Har Nof are meeting at this time to discuss levayas. There hope to determine if there will be one levaya for all of the kedoshim or alternatively each of the families to each conducting their own but beginning in a central location with hespedim in Har Nof.
A Bris and a Request to Rav Chaim Shlita:
11:41: One of the friends of one of the victims of today’s attack HY”D requested from HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita if he can name his son after him. The bris of his son is set to take place in Har Nof this morning. The victim has not yet been buried.
Rabbi Mordechai Blau confirms the story aired by Kol Chai Radio. Rav Kanievsky reported that yes, he may, explaining the niftar was a “Kadosh” who died Al Kiddush Hashem while wrapped in tallis and tefilin and naming his son after him is a most appropriate act.
YWN-ISRAEL points out the response was given for this case specifically and one should not extrapolate to others cases.
11:38: One of the victims in Shaare Zedek Medical Center has a gunshot wound to his head and listed in extremely grave condition. A second gunshot victim at that facility is in less serious condition and a third victim is in light condition.
11:31: Jerusalem Councilman Aryeh King points out that today, there is no one handling the city’s Security Portfolio and it has been this way in recent months despite the escalation in terror.
King was removed the post after attacking Mayor Nir Barkat’s building policy.
11:30: President Reuven Rivlin: Abu Mazen’s condemnation if good, but far from helpful and insufficient.
11:28: Clashes reported between police/security forces and Arabs in Jabil Mukhaber, Kalandia and Adam Junction at this time.
11:21: R”L there are reportedly 26 orphans as a result of the terror attack.
One victim remains in grave condition with a gunshot wound to his head. A second is less seriously wounded by gunfire and a third victim is in light condition.
11:11: The armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, claims responsibility for the attack.
11:03: PA leader Abu Mazen released a message condemning the attack and condemning the murder of all innocent civilians. He also called for an end of inciteful statements by Israeli cabinet ministers against the PA.
Rav Amar Shlita Asks Mechila from All Am Yisrael:
11:02: Jerusalem Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar Shlita told Kol Chai Radio that the time demands that we ask and grant total mechila to/from everyone at this time. He personally announced that he is moichel anyone and everyone that has offended him, total mechila from his inner heart, asking the same from others that he may have offended.
A message from Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Yerushalayim:
10:55: Jerusalem Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi HaGaon HaRav Aryeh Stern Shlita is calling on residents of the city to take part in a massive Yom Kippur Koton tefilla this coming Thursday, 27 Marcheshvan.
He explains “We must be mechazeik and do everything possible to remove that which causes fragmentation of the people into camps and we must realize that we all share in the pain and tragedy during an attack…”
The rav is calling for Yom Kippur Koton tefilos in “every shul around the country and the world, especially in Yerushalayim”.
IIt is permitted to publish one of the victims in the attack was Rabbi Moshe Twersky HY”D, 60, a rav who was a steady participant in the minyan for the past seven years or so. He was Rosh Kollel Yeshivas Toras Moshe. The levaya will begin at 14:00 from Yeshivas Beis HaTalmud to Har Menuchos. He was a grandson of Rav Yoshe Ber Solovechik ZT”L and a son-in-law of Rav Abba Berman ZT”L.
Statement from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu:
10:46: “This is the direct result of the incitement being led by Hamas and Abu Mazen, incitement which the international community is irresponsibly ignoring. We will respond with a heavy hand to the brutal murder of Jews who came to pray and were met by reprehensible murderer”.
10:41: Tefilos requested for the following victims of the attack:
Shmuel Yerucham ben Baila
Chaim Yechiel Ben Malka
Avraham Shmuel Ben Shaina
10:40: Dozens of Arabs at Adam Junction in the Binyamin Regional Council of Shomron are throwing stones and trying to block the road. Security forces are confronting them.
10:36: Police operating in Jabil Mukhaber were attacked by Arab residents a short time ago. Police responded appropriately, wounding a number of them.
10:32: Police shortly following the attack set up roadblocks around the capital. A massive manhunt is underway at this time for the driver who drove the terrorists to Har Nof this morning.
10:31: The terrorists responsible for the slaughter in Kehillas Bnei Torah in Har Nof have been identified as Uday and Ghassan Abu Jamil, cousins from Jerusalem’s Jabil Mukhaber neighborhood.
One of them was released in the second ‘good-will’ prisoner release by the current Netanyahu/Bennett/Lapid government some 18 months ago.
10:28: Rishon L’Tzion HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Yosef Shlita calls on the tzibur not to daven in a shul that does not have a security guard.
Jerusalem Chief Sephardi Rabbi HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Moshe Amar calls on the tzibur to recite Tehillim, perakim 121 and 124 and to recite these perakim in all shuls following all minyanim.
Statement from Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman:
10:08: The terrorist attack in a synagogue during prayers this morning amply demonstrates the baseness of the murderers, and that the responsibility rests entirely with the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas has deliberately turned the conflict into a religious conflict between Jews and Muslims and the systematic incitement he leads against Jews, including his statement that impure Jews may not enter Har Habayis, provides the guidance for such heinous attacks. The international community should condemn Abbas’ anti-Semitic statements which leads to terrible massacres as happened this morning in the synagogue in Jerusalem and make it clear that those who act in this way cannot be seen as a legitimate political figure.
10:05: The ISA (Israel Security Agency – Shin Bet) has taken a number of family residents of the Jabil Mukhaber terrorists into custody.
Statement from Mayor Nir Barkat:
10:02: “Jerusalem bows its head in pain and sorrow on this difficult morning. Jerusalem residents peacefully praying in a synagogue in the heart of Jerusalem were cruelly slaughtered in cold blood while wearing their taleisim.
“I promise Jerusalem residents that we will continue to fight terror with full force and we will do everything in our power to restore peace and security to Jerusalem.
“I call on Israel’s national government and security forces to provide Jerusalem with all of the support necessary to fight terror.
“I call on the international community to strongly condemn this horrific act.
“We will not surrender to terror. We will stand strong and defend our city from those who try to disturb the peace of our capital.”
10:00: Tefilos requested for:
Shmuel Yerucham ben Baila
Chaim Yechiel Ben Malka
Avraham Shmuel Ben Shaina
09:15: Speaking from the attack scene were Minister of Public Security Yitzchak Aharonovich and Police Chief Yochanan Danino. They repeated the same statements heard at other recent fatal Islamic terror attacks, promising they will do what it takes to bring an end to the attacks and restore calm to the capital. Clearly the tzibur is pained and angry over police failures to halt escalating Islamic terrorism.
Aharonovich called on the tzibur not to take the law into one’s own hands. This was echoed and emphasized by the police chief, who promised that anyone taking the law into their own hands will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat:
To enter a shul with butchers’ knives and slaughter mispallalim is not the act of civilized persons. These murderers are not civilized… Police are promising to do what it takes to stop the terrorism.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is convening his Security Cabinet in urgent session following the latest deadly Islmaic terror attack.
Terrorists were Cousins
Channel 2 reports both terrorists lived in Jabil Mukhaber in Jerusalem. They were cousins in their 20s. One worked in a nearby grocery store and this is how police believe he knew how easy it was and when to strike the shul that mispallalim would be there.
09:10: A Fatah spokesman responds: This is a natural consequence to the crimes of Israel.
Readers are reminded Fatah is the “moderate” faction that is headed by PA leader Abu Mazen.
One of the terrorists was employed in the grocery store not far from the shul that was attacked.
The community remains speechless as residents try to find out the names of the neighbors who were killed and wounded R”L in yet another Arab terror attack in Yerushalayim.
The attack on Tuesday morning 25 Marcheshvan occurred at about 7:00am Jerusalem time. Two terrorists, residents of eastern Yerushalayim, entered Kehillas Bnei Torah at 5 Agassi Street during tefillas shachris armed with axes and a handgun. They opened fire and began swinging in every direction. Baruch Hashem two policemen were nearby and they headed to the direction of the gunfire. They engaged the terrorists and the two terrorists were killed in the shootout. One of the policemen was wounded in the shootout.
Four mispallalim were murdered during davening as a result. Eight others were transported to the trauma units of Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital and Shaare Zedek Medical Center. According to Hadassah, one of the wounded is in life-threatening condition, 2 others are listed as serious and 1 is light-to-moderate. At Shaare Zedek, at least one of the wounded is listed as serious. There are many other persons being treated for hysteria.
The mora d’asra of the shul is HaRav Yitzchak Mordechai Rubin Shlita, the mechaber of the sefer Orchos Shabbos.
UPDATE: 08:52: Channel 2 News reports one of the terrorists involved in the attack was a resident of the Jabil Mukhaber neighborhood of the capital. His brother is currently serving a life sentence in an Israeli prison.
Hamas applauds the attack, calling it a “quality attack inside the capital to avenge the murder of the Egged driver”. It should be noted the autopsy of the Arab bus driver proved conclusively that he took his own life as the evidence at the scene indicated.
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Dovid Lau Shlita calls on Muslim leaders to clearly condemn the murder and to stop the incitement.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)