Synagogue attack shakes Jerusalem neighborhood

AP News
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Posted: Nov 18, 2014 12:48 PM
Synagogue attack shakes Jerusalem neighborhood

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Jerusalem neighborhood where Palestinian attackers killed four people in a crowded synagogue Tuesday is far removed from the flashpoints in this contested city.

This newest assault amid a wave of other attacks engulfing Jerusalem, however, has left those living in Har Nof, home to 20,000 people, worrying about their personal security.

"Every one, everywhere is in danger," said Yitzhak Heshing, who was injured in Tuesday's attack. "Not just in Jerusalem but everywhere. I think that what is happening is a very crazy situation."

Perched on a verdant hill in Jerusalem's far west, Har Nof is a collection of modern-looking concrete buildings overlooking two of the region's trendiest suburbs and the main highway connecting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Most of its residents are ultra-Orthodox Jews, many of them immigrants from North America and western Europe. Leaders of the Shas Party — founded by religious Jews with Middle Eastern and North African backgrounds and closely identified with a string of nationalistic Israeli governments — also call it home.

Heshing, who was being treated for his wounds Tuesday in the same Jerusalem hospital where he works as a doctor, said that his sense of security was in tatters following the attack.

"Everyone needs to carry a gun," he said. "I don't know. Personally I think I'll need to carry a weapon."

Shas legislator Eli Yishai, who has ties to Har Nof, said that the synagogue attack had affected residents not only there, but throughout Jerusalem as a whole.

"Their sense of security is gone," Yishai said. "They feel this in a very personal way. They are now asking for the government to act for them and to act immediately."