Har Nof Shooting 'Breaks Records for Depravity and Cruelty'

MKs react furiously to Tuesday morning's massacre in Jerusalem. Bennett: 'This is a declaration of war.'

Contact Editor
Tova Dvorin, | updated: 09:10

Emergency services respond to attack
Emergency services respond to attack
Ido Ben Porat

MKs and public officials have begun to issue official responses to the brutal massacre of praying Jews at a Har Nof, Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday morning. 

"The shocking massacre in a Jerusalem synagogue this morning are the unfortunate sum of the Palestinian position: the more we toughen our stance and call for tensions to calm, the more the brutal incitement from the Palestinian Authority leadership continues and worsens," Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) stated. "Their dispatchers are not repulsed from murdering worshipers inside the synagogue sanctuary itself. They break records for depravity and cruelty."

"Israel should not be dealing with those who aim to massacre innocent people within our holy places," Edelstein fired. 

"I send my condolences to the families of those killed and wish the injured a speedy recovery," he added.

Economics Minister and Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett also held PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas responsible for the attack.

"Abbas, a leading terrorist who gave rise to the Palestinian people, was directly responsible for the blood of Jews spilled on their tallit and tefillin," Bennett stated. "While we dealt with fantasies about a political peace process, the Palestinians made us an interlocking terrorism and incitement network."

"Even the concept of concrete barriers does not stop terrorism but encourages it," he continued. "Abbas declared war on Israel and we should treat it accordingly." 

Shas Chairman MK Aryeh Deri also called the massacre a "declaration of war." 

"The horrible massacre in a Har Nof synagogue during prayer this morning leaves no other choice for us: we are fighting for our lives," Deri stated. "I call on the Prime Minister to address the recent events as a state of war for all intents and purposes, [and launch] an operation in Jerusalem for the relentless elimination of terrorism and the restoration of peace and security of the residents."

"No more 'self-defense,' no more 'restraint;' it is time to eliminate these murderous terrorists," he added. 

MK Nissan Slomiansky (Jewish Home) agreed. 

"The State of Israel must understand that this is not some 'disturbance,' like throwing stones and shooting fireworks," Slomiansky thundered. "We are at the dawn of the third intifada, in which terrorists dare to kill worshipers in the synagogue."

"We are talking about animals who enter our holy places and kill people while they pray, in the name of G-d," he continued. "I call on decision-makers to do everything in order to allow the security forces to do everything they can to suppress terrorism everywhere - including [against] leaders of Hamas and the inciters headed by Abu Mazen [Abbas - ed.]."

"The hands are held by the terrorists with axes, but the voice is the voice of Mahmoud Abbas," Intelligence Minister and MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud) added. 

"Whoever calls for Muslims to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque [Temple Mount - ed.] 'by all means' against the Jews - was directly responsible for the horrible pogrom in the synagogue in Har Nof, and the wave of attacks and bloody riots in Jerusalem."

MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) disagreed, however - calling for talks despite the brutal massacre.

"Our daily lives have been disrupted here, whether in the street, on public transportation, or walking to a synagogue," Lavie said. "There has been little dialogue and it must commence, but in the meantime, we must increase enforcement and increase the presence of those in the streets until security is restored to Jerusalem's streets." 

Other MKs, including Housing Minister MK Uri Ariel (Jewish Home), placed blame for the attack squarely on the shoulders of the European Union (EU) and US. 

"When the foreign ministers of Europe and the United States condemn in weak terms the murder of Jews, and on the other hand give support to the endless incitement of Abu Mazen [Abbas - ed.], terrorists understand that the repeat of massacres like this are legitimate," Ariel stated. "I demand from the Prime Minister that he convene his Cabinet immediately and act immediately to return security to the citizens of Israel. Words do not return security." 

Even Arab MKs have begun to react to news of the shooting. MK Ahmed Tibi (Balad) stated directly to Arutz Sheva a short time ago (update: 8:55 am) that he "condemned" the massacre, speaking from a journalists' conference in Eilat.

"You don't do something like this in a place of worship," Tibi added. 

Sarah Leah Lawent contributed to this report