Three Americans are among four people killed during an attack Tuesday at a Jerusalem synagogue carried out by two Palestinians armed with a meat cleaver and gun. The Israeli police, who shot down the attackers, said they view the incident as a terror attack.
"We are viewing this as a terrorist attack," said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, who confirmed the four dead and that the two assailants were killed by police.
Fox News identified the slain Americans as Aryeh Kupinsky, Kalmen Levin and Moshe Twersky. Another eight people were injured in the attack on the Kehillat Bnei Torah synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighborhood in the western part of Jerusalem.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to respond with a "heavy hand," Reuters reported, and blamed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of inciting the violence that led to the attack.
"We will respond with a heavy hand to the brutal murder of Jews who came to pray and were killed by lowly murderers," Netanyahu said.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine has claimed responsibly for the attack, which it called a "heroic operation." Palestinian radio also reportedly described the attackers as "martyrs," while loudspeakers at mosques in Gaza congratulated the men, and had youngsters hand out candy in the streets.
Abbas has condemned the group's actions, however.
"The presidency condemns the attack on Jewish worshipers in one of their places of prayer in West Jerusalem and condemns the killing of civilians no matter who is doing it," a statement from Abbas' administration read.
Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas were engaged in a violent conflict that began in July and led to the deaths of at least 2,100 Palestinians, most of whom were civilians. Another 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians were killed before a long-term ceasefire was reached on Aug. 26.
Hamas has praised the attacks on the synagogue, blaming Israeli occupation of Palestinian settlements for the violence.
"Hamas calls for the continuation of revenge operations and stresses that the Israeli occupation bears responsibility for tension in Jerusalem," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.
CNN noted that because three of the victims were U.S. citizens, the FBI will investigate the attack.
Mark Regev, spokesman for Netanyahu, said that the Israeli police presence will be beefed up in Jerusalem to search for any other possible terrorists.
"We've got to make sure there are no copycat attacks," he said.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the attacks on the synagogue "an act of pure terror."
"This morning, today, in Jerusalem, Palestinians attacked Jews who were praying in a synagogue. People who had come to worship God in the sanctuary of a synagogue were hatched and hacked and murdered in that holy place in an act of pure terror and senseless brutality and murder," Kerry said.
"Our hearts go out to all Israelis for the atrocity of this event and for all the reminders of history that go with it," he added. "This simply has no place in human behavior, and we need to hear from leaders who are going to lead their people to a different place."