Jordan urges restraint after Jerusalem synagogue killings

An Israeli mourns during the funeral of some of the victims of the synagogue attack in Jerusalem on Nov 18, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
An Israeli mourns during the funeral of some of the victims of the synagogue attack in Jerusalem on Nov 18, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

AMMAN (AFP) - Jordan called on Wednesday for "restraint and calm" after two Palestinians killed five Israelis at a Jerusalem synagogue in the city's bloodiest attack in six years.

As custodian of the holy places in annexed Arab east Jerusalem, Jordan also urged a halt to Israeli actions at the city's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound that have helped fuel months of Palestinian unrest.

Government spokesman Mohammed Mumeni said Amman "condemns all acts of violence and terrorism against civilians, whatever the source of the violence or the motives".

"The government is closely following the serious situation in Jerusalem and calls for restraint and calm," he said, quoted by state news agency Petra.

Israel began a crackdown in east Jerusalem on Wednesday, a day after the assault on the synagogue in which the two assailants were also killed, razing the home of a Palestinian resident behind an earlier deadly attack.

The latest bloodshed came as Israel struggles to contain a wave of unrest in east Jerusalem that has seen a growing number of deadly strikes by lone Palestinians.

Jordan's King Abdullah II last Thursday hosted a diplomatic push which brought together United States Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for talks in Amman at which steps were agreed to ease tensions in the Holy City.

Mr Netanyahu gave renewed assurances that there would be no change to the ulta-sensitive, decades-old status quo at the Al-Aqsa compound under which Jews are allowed to visit but not pray.

On Friday, Israel also lifted age restrictions that had been in force for months on male worshippers attending the main weekly prayers at the mosque compound, which is holy to both faiths.