Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded strongly to the Islamic State (ISIS) attacks in Paris on Friday night, expressing Israel’s solidarity with France in the face of the recent acts of terror.
“Israel is standing shoulder to shoulder with French President Hollande and the French people in our joint war against terror. I have instructed Israel’s security and intelligence forces to assist their French counterparts and their counterparts from other European countries in any way possible,” Netanyahu said. “I send my condolences in the name of the Israeli people to the families of the killed and wish the wounded a speedy recovery.”
“I urge the entire civilized world to unite and defeat the plague of global terror,” he added. “Militant Islamic terrorism attacks our society because it wants to destroy our civilization and our values.”
The prime minister compared the victims in Paris to the victims in Jerusalem and said they were the “victims of militant Islamic terrorism, not its cause. Terrorism is the deliberate and systematic targeting of civilians, and it can never be justified. Islam wants to destroy our values of Western democracy.”
“An attack on any one of us is an attack on all of us, and must be condemned with unwavering determination.”
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said “the terrorist attacks must be a wake-up call to all countries in the free world and their leaders. Wake up and declare, once and for all, an all-out war on extremist Muslim terrorism, before the entire West turns into the scene of a bloody terrorist attack.”
Culture Minister Miri Regev (Likud) pointed out that the European Union had taken Hamas off their list of terror organizations earlier in the year, giving tacit legitimacy to terror. “In the eyes of Europeans, the murderous terrorist attacks in Israel and the massacre of innocent people are a legitimate struggle.”
A rally was held in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv Saturday night in solidarity with France, with the French Ambassador and senior Israeli politicians in attendance. Netanyahu has ordered all Israeli government facilities around the world and in Israel to lower their flags to half staff in solidarity with the French people. Security measures were increased at Israeli missions and Jewish sites tin France that might be potential targets.
Russia’s Anti-Terrorist Committee made a statement that, “In light of the new threats, the entire national security network has been put on high alert.” Two weeks ago, a Russian airliner crashed in the Sinai Peninsula, killing 224. Though the investigation is ongoing, ISIS claimed credit for the crash, and there is evidence a bomb smuggled on board was responsible for the crash.
ISIS has also claimed credit for a double suicide bombing in Beirut, Lebanon, last Thursday which killed 44, and a bombing at a peace rally in Ankara, Turkey last month that killed 86.
US President Barack Obama made a statement from the White House, commiserating with the French people.
“This is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share. We stand prepared and ready to provide whatever assistance the people of France need to respond. This is a heartbreaking situation, and obviously those of us here in the United States know what it’s like and we’ve gone through these kinds of episodes ourselves.”
Obama refused to speculate as to who was responsible for the attack. The White House announced that the attack did not change the President’s plans to attend a conference in Paris on Global Warming at the end of the month.