Just one week after Secretary of State John Kerry applauded Jordan’s role in the Middle East as “enormously constructive” and admirable, Jordan’s prime minister sent condolence letters to the families of two Palestinian terrorists behind Tuesday’s synagogue massacre.
According to two Israeli television news reports, Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour sent condolence letters to the families of the two attackers who stormed a Jerusalem synagogue during morning prayer services and proceeded to hack and shoot to death four worshippers – including three American rabbis – and a policeman. Jordan’s parliament also held a moment of silence in the terrorists' honor.
Israel’s Channel 2 reported that the condolence letters were sent on Friday to the families of Ghassan and Oday Abu Jamal, Palestinian cousins from east Jerusalem who were killed by police as they were carrying out their attack with knives, a meat cleaver and gun.
"I ask Allah to wrap them abundantly with mercy, and with his contentment, and that he will give all of you patience, recovery from the agony and good comfort," Ensour wrote to the terrorists’ families in the letter translated by the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz.
In an effort to reduce tensions around Jerusalem, which has been gripped by weeks of violence, Kerry was in Jordan on November 13 to meet with Jordan's King Abdullah, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Speaking later to reporters, Kerry described the difficult regional challenges including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
“Through all of these challenges, one constant has been the enormously constructive role that Jordan has played under difficult circumstances in order to try to resolve those challenges. And we’re very grateful and we admire those efforts,” Kerry said.
The Jordanian parliament on Wednesday – one day after the synagogue attack – held a moment of silence and recited a Muslim prayer in honor of the Palestinian cousins.
“In regards to the martyrs that smashed and murdered the Zionists, I am asking for this respected parliament to stand up and read the al-Fatiha [the prayer at the beginning of the Quran] to glorify their pure souls and to glorify the souls of all the of the martyrs in the Arab and Islamic nation,” a Jordanian parliament member said, as seen in a video broadcast on Israel’s Channel 10 and translated by the Jerusalem Post.
The few members of parliament who were present stood and held their palms up.
The Jordanian government earlier issued a statement condemning the attack, the Times of Israel reported.