Ireland Calls for Talks to 'End Occupation'

In a statement condemning attack in Har Nof, Ireland's Foreign Minister also calls on the sides to return to talks on "two-state solution".

Elad Benari ,

Ireland's Foreign Minister Charles Flanagan
Ireland's Foreign Minister Charles Flanagan

Ireland’s Foreign Minister, Charlie Flanagan, condemned the terrorist attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem, and called for a return to peace talks that would “the occupation of the Palestinian territories.”

“I condemn absolutely the horrific attack on the Har Nof synagogue in Jerusalem and express my deepest sympathies to the Israeli victims of this brutal and senseless terrorist act and their families. The desecration of a place of worship, in a city held holy by so many people of different faiths around the world, is an unacceptable attack on the freedom of worship,” Flanagan said in a statement posted on his website.

“I call on all sides to avoid provocations in response to these brutal murders and to act with responsibility and restraint. The violence of recent months in Jerusalem has underlined the importance of respect for all religions and the need to ensure a sustainable political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he added.

At the same time, Flanagan said, “I reiterate my call for an urgent return to the negotiations and call on all parties to take steps towards the achievement of the two-State framework and the ending of the occupation of the Palestinian territories.”

Another condemnation of the attack came from French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday night, AFP reported.

The French president urged Israel and the Palestinian Authority to resume talks seeking peace.

The attack “was particularly terrifying ... and this is unfortunately the trend in terms of what's happening," Hollande said in Australia during a state visit.

"So we must be very clear that we condemn these sort of actions. This is something that occurred in a place of worship,” he added.

"We must act to ensure that violence in Jerusalem ceases, and that conditions for resuming talks may finally be such that this dialogue can occur," said Hollande.

In Tuesday’s attack, two Palestinian Arab terrorists stormed a synagogue in Har Nof with axes, knives and a gun. Four worshipers were killed on the spot and a fifth victim, a police officer who arrived on the scene of the attack and engaged in a shootout with the terrorists, died of his wounds on Tuesday night.

Earlier, U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the terror attack and called on both sides “to work cooperatively together to lower tensions, reject violence, and seek a path forward towards peace.”

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement of condemnation as well, while calling for leaders on both sides “to make the difficult decisions that will promote stability and ensure long-term security for both Israelis and Palestinians.”