Ecumenical News International

Protestant provost condemns attack on Jerusalem synagogue

November 19, 2014

Jerusalem (epd). Protestant provost Wolfgang Schmidt has condemned the attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem as an "abominable act of violence". "The fact that the perpetrators chose a place of prayer is an expression of an abysmal hatred that stops at nothing," he told the Protestant press agency epd in Jerusalem on Monday. People could not feel safe anywhere, he added.

The attack in the West Jerusalem cost the lives of four worshippers and a policeman. The perpetrators, two Palestinians from East Jerusalem, had entered the synagogue "Kehilat Bnei Torah" (congregation of the sons of Torah) with axes, knives and pistols. They were then shot by police officers. It was the first attack on a Jewish place of worship since the founding of the state of Israel and was reportedly made by the People's Front for the Liberation of Palestine. It has called forth shock and outrage worldwide.

According to Schmidt, the fact that the attack was possible at all, despite heightened police presence in Jerusalem, shows "that even massive security measures cannot prevent violence in the long run". Schmidt, from the Protestant Church of Baden, has been provost of Jerusalem for two years and officially represents the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) in the Holy Land.

There recent resurgence of tension between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem has led to increased violence. The reason is that both Jews and Muslims lay claim to the Temple Mount. Schmidt quoted the head of the Israeli secret service as saying that the situation will not calm down as long as the status quo on the Temple Mount is called into question. "Anyone who does not grasp that must live with the risk of further acts of violence occurring," said Schmidt.

Protestant in Jerusalem



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