At the Kehilat Bnai Torah synagogue in the western neighborhood of Har Nof—the Jerusalem synagogue attacked Tuesday by two Palestinian cousins wielding meat cleavers, knives and a handgun—Jewish worshippers sought comfort in prayer. Those killed included three Americans and a Briton, all members of the congregation, and an Israeli policeman trying to stop the attack. Israeli security forces killed both assailants in a subsequent shootout. Meanwhile, Wednesday, Israeli security forces demolished the east Jerusalem home of a Palestinian who killed two people in an October attack on commuters at a crowded light rail platform in Jerusalem. The home’s demolition followed angry promises by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel would take strict measures to deal with a rising wave of Palestinian attacks that in recent weeks have taken 11 lives.
Our future in this world is dependent on God.
Gavriel Cohen, Jewish worshipper
Netanyahu pledged to speed up demolitions of homes of perpetrators of attacks in Jerusalem in line with a policy announced earlier this month. Home demolitions have long been used as a deterrent punishment in the occupied West Bank but it is the first time that they have been adopted as a matter of policy in annexed Arab east Jerusalem. The practice is condemned by human rights watchdogs as collective punishment that targets not perpetrators of attacks but their families.