President Obama Condemns Attack on Jerusalem Synagogue

Three of the four rabbis killed in the unprecedented attack were also American citizens.
8:44 | 11/18/14

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Transcript for President Obama Condemns Attack on Jerusalem Synagogue
The blues sport the greatest acts. Represent. Extremism that is Britain's. Two. Here in all of them always to do. Spiral. From which is very difficult birth and we know how. Get worse. Over time we'll live to remind ourselves that the majority of Palestinians and Israelis. Overwhelming. President Obama reacting to today's deadly attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem. Four rabbis were killed three were Americans I'm Michelle Franzen in New York. This was the first time during the entire Israeli Palestinian conflict that worshippers. Inside a synagogue had been targeted. But first let's go to ABC's Karen Travers in Washington for the very latest Karen good act again. Good afternoon Michelle tensions are high in Jerusalem as people there brace for the fallout from this horrible attack. Earlier this morning President Obama said violence like this has no justification. And he called on the Israelis and the Palestinians to work together to seek peace. It was a brutal horrific attack to Palestinian men armed with knives axed is being done storming a synagogue in Jerusalem. Coming into the and to the synagogue. We heard gunshots from downstairs. There Rampage left for worshippers dead. Three Americans one boring at all dual Israeli citizens. Another six were injured many from direct ax blows to the head. The attackers were shot dead by police. It was the first time in the long standing Israeli Palestinian conflict that worshippers inside as synagogue were targeting. The attack took place in an orthodox Jewish neighborhood that has a large population of English speaking immigrants. Obviously. We condemn in the strongest terms the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack. No Palestinian group has claimed responsibility. But Hamas applauded the violence. Tensions in Jerusalem are at their highest point in years centered around the Al Aqsa mosque on a site that's one of the holiest places to both Jews and Muslims. Both sides point the finger at each other. This is I'm not sure there's little told Israeli publication moves and it isn't anything this official report useful insights motivated by the same hatred by the same. Islam is stinks truism. Then he heads innocents and civilians. Because Americans were involved in ten days attack the FBI will play a role in the investigation. Michelle. Thanks Karen. A few moments ago prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a press conference and spoke to the public he spoken Hebrew any said. What was most shocking wasn't just the massacre at the cries of joy in Gaza and the west bank and for more. On what Netanyahu had to say I want to bring an ABC's Alex mark mark from our. Bureau in Beirut Lebanon you've been watching this Alex. What did you make of the prime minister's remarks and his tone to the public. Good afternoon Michelle all as you mentioned premise from at and Netanyahu just wrapped up. Comments to the press in Hebrew he took some questions he spoke for just under twenty minutes and he came out of the gate swinging. Up pointing the finger directly the Palestinians accusing. Really a broad cross section of a Palestinian society for. What he called insight Mintz he accused the Palestinian Authority Hamas Islamic Jihad. Of lies and incitement that brought out today's attack it is interesting that he has lumping in the Palestinian Authority. With those groups that are acknowledged the -- earth but that are considered to be terrorist groups by the United States. Possibly President Mahmoud Abbas this morning did it condemned the attack but he also accused Israel of inciting the violence themselves. He tried to dismantle the arguments by groups like Hamas that today's attack came out it came about because of two reasons. Firstly because of the death of a Palestinian bus driver yesterday. Many Palestinians believe that he was lynched but an autopsy carried out by Israeli doctors but attended. Also by a Palestinian doctor found that he had committed suicide. And then really the burning question the burning issue and all of this around Al Aqsa mosque. Which Karen just talked about in her piece about a week ago prime minister Netanyahu had a meeting. In Amman Jordan with King Abdullah. Of Jordan and prime minister Netanyahu in which they agreed two to take measures to emphasize com to to make sure that calm was restored in Jerusalem. And then Netanyahu just said. That right after that after this is all agreed to prime minister Abbas I came out and called for a day of rage last Friday and then he turned his attention. Two to the word to the international community saying that he hasn't heard enough cries of outrage. From world leaders he hasn't heard enough condemnation. Against this Palestinian incitement. And then it. He did talk about that measures going forward that he wants to restore security. In Jerusalem he he encourage people not to take the law. Into their own hands and carry out revenge attacks. He did specifically notes. That one measure that will be taken. After day after today's attack will be that the two homes of the Palestinian assailants who carried out this attack injures on this morning. Will be destroyed there from. And Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem and essentially he'll someday he summed up his point of view by saying. The Middle East. Is in the radical Islamic flames that are trying to burn Israel. As well Michelle. And Alex the prime minister also before this press conference at said that they are reaction would be. Harsh and the response would be harsh recap today's events for us tell us how. Differences is this is from previous conflicts. And violence in that region. Well this really takes it up a notch a few well this is a conflict that obviously has been has been. A flame for decades but really just recently visited the tension has been simmering for several months now and it's been getting worse and worse and and really coming to a boil and this is the worst attack that we've seen. In years in Jerusalem it started earliest start at 7 o'clock in the morning. When several people in this ultra orthodox neighborhood in west Jerusalem had gone into this synagogue. For early morning prayers. At 7 o'clock in the morning to these Palestinian assailants from Easter Islam when in armed with a pistol whipped. Meat cleaver is with axes and started attacking worshippers. Four of them were killed all four rabbis all of them dual nationals three of them. How were Americans. Man and so this this is all of over relatively quickly about seven minutes later police arrived on the scene engaged in a shootout with the assailants. Who were then killed. For now the Israeli security forces are operating under the assumption that this was a lone wolf attack. Like many of the attacks that we've seen by Palestinians against Israelis. In recent weeks they're there hasn't been a claim of responsibility by Hamas or any other militant group days. Their identities om and their membership in one of those groups was confirmed. By the popular liberation front four Palestine but even that group didn't claim responsibility. What's different about this attack is that it took place in a synagogue and you noted early on that there haven't been any attacks in synagogues since the Israeli Palestinian conflict really erupted. So because of what's happened around all oxen which I just mention because of what happened today in the synagogue this is taking on. Religious overtones it's it's to some extent moving from an Israeli Palestinian conflict to a Jewish Muslim conflict with intuition and then draws in. Much of the wider region and that's a very dangerous path. And and and prime minister Netanyahu certainly realizes Denton and it was emphasizing that what we're as it was emphasizing Coleman is statements. Tonight because once you start going down this path we're aware of this religious path. It's it's extremely dangerous thing could be very bloody. Alex Mark Clark in our bureau in Beirut thank you for. Given us an update on that and of course you can keep up with this story in real time by downloading the ABC news app. And starring the story for exclusive updates on the go. For now I'm Michelle Franzen in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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