Israeli, Palestinian leaders condemn Paris attack

14th November 2015, Comments 0 comments

Israeli and Palestinian leaders joined their people Saturday in protesting against the wave of attacks in Paris claimed by the Islamic State group that killed at least 129 people.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country stood side by side with France, while Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said he was shocked and angered.

The Islamist movement Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip but is considered a "terrorist" organisation by both the United States and European Union, also condemned the attacks.

In Tel Aviv, around 5,000 people, including French Israelis, marched in solidarity with Paris. Many held French flags while others placed candles on the ground.

They were addressed by a number of prominent figures, including former president Shimon Peres, opposition leader Isaac Herzog and the French ambassador, Patrick Maisonnave.

The Israeli flag on many key buildings was lowered to half mast.

Speaking in French, Peres said "we are here tonight to tell you that we are with you in this war without quarter to stop the atrocities.

"Your battle, your pain, your hope are ours also."

In Ramallah in the West Bank, several dozen Palestinians spelled out the word "Paris" in candles outside the French cultural centre.

"This (act) is totally and utterly unacceptable and condemned in the hearts of all Palestinians," Hosam Zomlot, an official with Abbas's Fatah party told AFP.

The IS group claimed responsibility for Friday night's attacks which French President Francois Hollande condemned as an "act of war".

Netanyahu said the world was threatened by the rise of radical Islam.

"All terrorism must be condemned and fought equally with unwavering determination," he said, adding that his security forces would assist their French counterparts "in any way possible".

Herzog, head of the Labour party, denounced on Facebook what he called an "odious crime against liberty, equality and fraternity", the bywords of French democracy.

"Diabolical terrorism knows no limits, and it will only be through firm and courageous cooperation among nations that it will be possible to abolish it," he added.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said the country would stand with France "in your uncompromising struggle against terrorism".

Palestinian groups also condemned the attack, with Abbas saying: "Our people are deeply shocked and angered, but mostly saddened by these events aimed at hitting civil life in the wonderful city of Paris."

Both Hamas and fellow Islamist group Islamic Jihad also condemned the attacks.

Bassem Naim, head of the Hamas Council of International Relations, told AFP the group condemned "the acts of aggression and barbarity", while Islamic Jihad called the attacks a crime "against innocent people".


© 2015 AFP

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