"What I can say is that the attacker entered the main gate of the school, went through the entrance of the school, opened fire on a number of students and then was himself shot and killed at the entrance to the library," by security forces said Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld.

He said the man used a Kalashnikov rifle to carry out Israel’s most lethal attack in two years. "It was a slaughterhouse," said Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, head of the Zaka emergency service after surveying the scene at the Merkaz Harav seminary, one of the most prominent Jewish educational centers in Jerusalem.

In Gaza, a statement from the ruling militant group Hamas praised the attack and said it would not be the last, news reports said.


Moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, based on the West Bank, condemned the attack. Israel’s Foreign Ministry said the attack was designed to derail peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, but added that the talks will continue.

The US on Thursday night condemned the terror attack, The Jerusalem Post newspaper said in its online edition. "The United States condemns tonight’s act of terror and depravity," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was quoted as saying in a statement. She said she called Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to express condolences.

"The United States condemns tonight’s act of terror and depravity. This barbarous act has no place among civilized peoples and shocks the conscience of all peace loving nations. There is no cause that could ever justify this action," Rice added.

Several Christian groups based in Jerusalem, including the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, have been praying for Israel to prevail and overcome violent attacks, BosNewsLife learned before Thursday’s blast occurred. (With reporting from Jerusalem).    


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