The families of the two terrorists who killed four people in a brutal attack in a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday morning have hailed the two as heroes, as candies to celebrate the attack were handed out in the West Bank and Gaza.
Alaa Abu Jamal, a cousin of the terrorists, said that Israeli policies were to blame for the attack at the synagogue, when the two entered the compound during morning prayers, armed with meat cleavers and a gun.
"This occurred because of the pressures of the occupying Israeli government on the Palestinian people and in Jerusalem generally, and the ongoing harm to the al-Aqsa mosque; this act is something normal for any person who is connected to his people, to courage and to Islam."
"We got the usual death notification and we shouted with joy, people here also handed out candies to guests who came to visit and were happy for the martyrs."
He said that the family had been surprised by the attack, and that the two terrorists had not had any political affiliation. "We had not expected it to happen," he said. "One of them is married with three children; I do not know what will happen."
He added: "Praise God. For a person to die as a martyr is a great thing."
On social media, caricatures praising the terrorists were posted Tuesday, one of them showing a massacre in a synagogue.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday condemned the deadly attack, and called for an end to what he said was Israeli provocation over the Temple Mount.
"The presidency condemns the attack on Jewish worshippers in their place of prayer, and condemned the killing of civilians no matter who is responsible," said a statement from Abbas' office.
"We condemn all acts of violence from all sources, and demand an end to the invasions of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the provocations of settlers and the incitement by some ministers in the Israeli government."
The statement said that, "It's time to end the occupation and to put an end to everything that makes violence and tension."
US Secretary of State John Kerry had demanded that the Palestinain leadership condemn the attack "to take serious steps to restrain any kind of incitement."
Meanwhile, clashes broke out Tuesday morning in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, home to the two terrorists who carried out the brutal attack.
The violence erupted after Israeli security forces entered the neighborhood, to investigate the attack in which four people were killed and eight wounded.
Those considered close to the terrorists were questioned by the Shin Bet on Tuesday morning, in order to determine the extent of their involvement in the attack.
The two terrorists, cousins Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal, were close relatives of Jamal Abu Jamal, a Palestinian prisoner released by Israel as part of an agreement but rearrested two weeks ago. Their family has set up a mourning tent for those who wish to grieve.
Checkpoints have been set up around Jerusalem, including at the entrance to the city.
Residents of Gaza Strip praised the brutal attack Tuesday. Fireworks were set off in celebration and from the mosques were heard chants of "Allahu Akbar" (God is most great) in honor of the attack. Islamic Jihad also issued a statement, calling the attack "a natural response to the crimes of the occupier."
Hamas also praised the attack and called for further "acts of revenge". An official Hamas statement said that the attack was a response to the death of bus driver Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni, who was found hanged at a Jerusalem bus terminal Sunday night. While al-Ramouni's family claimed foul play, autopsy results confirmed police's suspicion of suicide on Monday afternoon.