November 19, 2014 / 10:39 AM / 4 years ago

Pope condemns Jerusalem synagogue attack

ROME (Reuters) - Pope Francis has condemned an attack by two Palestinians who killed four rabbis and a policeman in a Jerusalem synagogue, and expressed concern about rising tension and violence in the city.

Pope Francis arrives to lead his Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican November 19, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

“I’m following with concern the alarming increase in tension in Jerusalem and other areas of the Holy Land, with unacceptable episodes of violence that do not spare even religious sites,” the pope told worshippers in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday in his first public appearance since Tuesday’s killings.

The attack with a meat cleaver and a gun follows weeks of unrest in Jerusalem in a dispute over Jerusalem’s holiest site, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount.

(The story was refiled to correct the first paragraph, which said five Jews were killed in attack. Only four of the Israeli victims were Jews)

Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Peter Graff

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