Washington: Strongly condemning the "horrific" terror attack at a Jerusalem synagogue, US President Barack Obama on Tuesday said it is important for Israeli and Palestinian leaders along with ordinary citizens to work towards lowering tensions and rejecting violence.
"I strongly condemn today's terrorist attack on worshippers at a synagogue in Jerusalem, which killed four innocent people, including US citizens Aryeh Kupinsky, Cary William Levine and Mosheh Twersky and injured several more," Obama said in a statement.
"There is and can be no justification for such attacks against innocent civilians. The thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the victims and families of all those who were killed and injured in this horrific attack and in other recent violence," he said.
"At this sensitive moment in Jerusalem, it is all the more important for Israeli and Palestinian leaders and ordinary citizens to work cooperatively together to lower tensions, reject violence, and seek a path forward towards peace," Obama said.
Two Palestinians wielding axes, knives and guns, today killed at least four Israeli worshippers in a synagogue here and injured eight others.
Secretary of State John Kerry who is travelling in London called the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"I was just on the phone to Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel. This morning, today in Jerusalem, Palestinians attacked Jews who were praying in a synagogue. And people who had come to worship God in the sanctuary of a synagogue were hatcheted and hacked and murdered in that holy place in an act of pure terror and senseless brutality and murder," he told reporters in London.
He called on the Palestinian leadership at every single level to condemn this in the most powerful terms.
"This violence has no place anywhere, and particularly after a discussion that we had just the other day in Amman, where the Prime Minister of Israel flew to Amman, sat down with the Custodian of the al-Aqsa Mosque, King Abdullah of Jordan," Kerry said.
"Netanyahu went to the extent of restoring in absolute terms the status quo with respect to the management of that mount, including lowering the age, taking away any age limits on people who could visit, guaranteeing that there were peaceful, completely uninterrupted visits over the weekend," he said.
"And to have this kind of act, which is a pure result of incitement of calls for days of rage, of just an irresponsibility, is unacceptable," Kerry said.
"So the Palestinian leadership must condemn this and they must begin to take serious steps to restrain any kind of incitement that comes from their language, from other people's language, and exhibit the kind of leadership that is necessary to put this region on a different path," Kerry said.