UK sends support to Israel after ‘appalling’ synagogue attack

An attack at an east Jerusalem synagogue that killed seven people and wounded three others has been described as “appalling” by the UK Foreign Secretary.

James Cleverly said the attack by a Palestinian gunman, described as one of the deadliest attacks on Israelis in years, was “horrific”.

The attack, which took place as worshippers were celebrating the Jewish Sabbath, came a day after an Israeli military raid killed nine people in the West Bank.

Israeli police said the shootings occurred in Neve Yaakov, a religious neighbourhood with a large ultra-Orthodox population, and that the gunman fled in a car after opening fire.

Police said they chased him and killed him after an exchange of fire.

Officers identified the attacker as a 21-year-old east Jerusalem resident who apparently acted alone.

Israel’s Mada rescue service said the dead included a 70-year-old woman.

It was deadliest attack on Israelis since a 2008 shooting killed eight people in a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem, according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

Mr Cleverly tweeted: “Appalling reports of a terror attack in Neve Yaakov this evening.

“To attack worshippers at a synagogue on Holocaust Memorial Day, and during Shabbat, is horrific.

“We stand with our Israeli friends.”

Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy said it had been a “terrible” 48 hours.

“Horrific news from Jerusalem tonight. Seven Israelis killed as they finished prayers at a synagogue. My thoughts are with all those caught up in this despicable terrorist attack.

“Palestinians killed in the West Bank. Rockets fired at Israel. Security cooperation suspended.

“The cycle of violence must end. We must not give up on the hope of a peaceful future for all Israelis and Palestinians.”

London mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted: “I’m sickened to hear about the horrific attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem — places of worship should be sanctuaries.

“On behalf of all Londoners I send my deepest sympathies.”