Two Palestinian suspects killed four people when they stormed a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, attacking worshippers with knives, axes and firearms before being killed in a shootout with police, officials said.
The assailants entered a Jewish seminary in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in the southwest of the city shortly before 7am, killing at least four people and wounding nine others, according to police.
Local media reported that as many as five people may have been killed at the synagogue.
There were conflicting reports about the weapons used in the attack. A police report initially said the attackers were armed with axes and knives. Police later said in a statement that the suspects fired on worshippers with a pistol.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said authorities were viewing the incident “as a terrorist attack”. Samri said the assailants, who she said were Palestinians from east Jerusalem, were then killed in a shootout with police.
Israeli police said the two attackers were Palestinian cousins from east Jerusalem.
Israel's ambulance service said medics were treating as many as nine injured people – five of them critically – at the scene of the deadly assault.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said its members had carried out the attack, calling them "heroes".
“We declare full responsibility of the PFLP for the execution of this heroic operation conducted by our heroes this morning in Jerusalem,” said Hani Thawbta, a PFLP leader in Gaza.