The assailants behind the deadly Jerusalem attack

A relative of Ghassan and Udai Abu Jamal, cousins who killed four worshippers in a Jerusalem synagogue, holds their pictures at her home in the Jerusalem district of Jabal Mukaber November 18, 2014. (Reuters)

Following an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue that left four worshippers dead, sparking Palestinian and world condemnation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the demolition of the homes of the assailants.

The two attackers, cousins Ghassan Abu Jamal and Oday Abu Jamal, were from the Jabal Mukaber neighborhood in occupied east Jerusalem, Agence France-Presse reported.

Ghassan was a 27-year-old married father of two. He worked at a clothing store in the Jewish quarter of the city, according to the Associated Press.

He had no criminal record, and was not known to have been affiliated with any militant groups.

His cousin was a 21-year-old interior decorator and like Ghassan, Oday was not known to be affiliated with any militancy and was never arrested.

He was unmarried, AP reported.

Clashes later broke out outside the assailants’ home, where dozens of police officers had converged as residents hurled stones at police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

Residents said 14 members of the Abu Jamal family were arrested, AFP reported.

Three of the killed worshippers were U.S. citizens while a fourth was originally from the UK.

Rabbi Moshe Twersky was a 59-year-old Boston native who came from a line of influential rabbis.

His brother-in-law in New York City described him to AP as a “gentle, saintly scholar.”

“He lived his life with a kind of perfected modesty and precision,” the brother-in-law said.

“He lived in the image of a gentle God.”

Twersky was the son of Rabbi Isadore Twersky, who founded Harvard University’s Center for Jewish Studies, and the grandson of Joseph B. Soloveitchik, one of the most influential Jewish theologians of his generation.

After immigrating to Israel in 1990, Twersky became the head of the Torat Moshe Yeshiva, one of the first in the country established to cater to post-high school students from English-speaking countries.

He is survived by his wife Miriam, five children and 10 grandchildren.

Rabbi Kalman Levine, born Cary William Levine, was 55-years-old.

“There are people who, once they get there, their ethic is to never leave the land of Israel. He was one of those people,” his brother in law said.

“He was a very peaceful, sweet guy - guileless, learned.”

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Levine attended the University of Southern California, where he studied the Torah and Talmud. He left in his 20s for Israel, where most recently he was teaching at a Jerusalem seminary.

Levine’s son, Yerachmiel Levine, recalled his father’s dedication to his religious studies.

“He would study all day long and would return home at night only to learn more until he would fall asleep in his chair,” the son said.

Levine is survived by his wife, nine children and five grandchildren.

Detroit area native Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky moved to Israel with his family when he was 10 and worshipped frequently at the Jerusalem synagogue where he died.

The third of five siblings, the 43-year-old Kupinsky was a “very religious man,” said Esther Schwartz, a former neighbor in Oak Park, a Detroit suburb.

Schwartz said her son, who lives in Israel, emailed her about his slaying.

“All morning I couldn’t stop crying,” the 64-year-old said. “It shook us all up. This was a child we knew. He got married and had his own family. It’s shocking, senseless and useless.”

Kupinsky is survived by his wife and five children.

Liverpool native 68-year-old Avraham Shmuel Goldberg immigrated to Israel in 1993, and was a near daily participant in morning prayers at the synagogue where he died.

David Osborne, a friend who was near the synagogue when it was attacked, said Goldberg was “the most wonderful person you could meet.”

He is survived by his wife, six children and grandchildren.

[With AP]

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