Israel condemns ‘horrific’ Nice terror attack, offers assistance
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Israel condemns ‘horrific’ Nice terror attack, offers assistance

Rivlin sends condolences to France; Netanyahu ready to help fight ‘evil’; PA denounces ‘cowardly act in the strongest terms’

A woman seeking her son near the scene of an attack after a truck drove onto the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers watching the Bastille Day fireworks in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. (AP/Luca Bruno)
A woman seeking her son near the scene of an attack after a truck drove onto the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers watching the Bastille Day fireworks in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. (AP/Luca Bruno)

Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Friday condemned the “horrific” and “terrible” vehicular terror attack at a Nice resort that left over 80 people dead, including 10 children.

“Israel strongly condemns the terrible terror attack. Israelis stand united with the French people,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement.

“Israel is willing to help the French government fight this evil until it is defeated,” he added.

President Reuven Rivlin on Friday sent a letter of condolence to his French counterpart and urged a united global front against terrorism.

“It is with pain and sorrow that I must once again write and express my deepest condolences, and those of all the Israeli people, following the horrific terror attack in Nice,” wrote Rivlin to Hollande.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) seen with President Reuven Rivlin (right) at the opening session of the 20th Knesset, March 31, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) seen with President Reuven Rivlin (right) at the opening session of the 20th Knesset, March 31, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also penned a letter to Hollande on Friday denouncing the “cowardly act in the strongest terms.”

A gunman smashed a truck into a crowd of revelers celebrating Bastille Day in the French resort of Nice on Thursday, killing at least 84 people in what President Francois Hollande on Friday declared a terror attack.

Police shot the driver dead after he barreled the truck two kilometers (1.3 miles) through a crowd that had been enjoying a fireworks display in honor of France’s national day.

The palm-lined Promenade des Anglais of the French Riviera resort was left strewn with bodies as hundreds fled in terror.

Authorities said they found identity papers belonging to a 31-year-old French-Tunisian citizen in the 19-ton truck, and that the driver had fired a gun several times before police shot him dead.

A policeman stands, watching the truck used for the attack near the scene of an attack after a truck drove onto the sidewalk late Thursday, and plowed through a crowd of revelers who gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice, southern France, Friday, July 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
A policeman investigates the truck a day after it drove onto the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice, southern France, July 14, 2016. (AP/Luca Bruno)

“Israel stands with France and the Israeli people stand with the French people, shoulder to shoulder in the face of this terrible evil, as should the whole free world. We must work united to reach the terrorists, their supporters and backers, wherever they may hide. We will never give up. As you said, we are stronger than the fanatics who seek to harm us,” Rivlin wrote.

The Israeli president also addressed the timing of the truck attack, which coincided with Bastille Day.

“La Fête Nationale, France’s national celebration, marks the beginning of the French Revolution, an event crucial to European and world history and the rise of the modern values which today we all hold dear; liberty, equality, and democracy. The vile threat of terrorism is an affront to these values, and its perpetrators murder and maim indiscriminately in pursuit of their barbaric ideology of hate,” Rivlin wrote.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog also condemned the “vile” attack. “This is our generation’s World War,” he tweeted.

Mexican Independence Angel monument is illuminated with the colors of the French national flag on July 14, 2016 in Mexico City in solidarity following the deadly attack in Nice, France. (AFP PHOTO / YURI CORTEZ)
The Mexican Independence Angel monument is illuminated with the colors of the French national flag in Mexico City in solidarity following the deadly attack in Nice, France, on July 14, 2016. (AFP/Yuri Cortez)

 

World leaders on Friday expressed shock and horror over the carnage.

US President Barack Obama decried what he said “appears to be a horrific terrorist attack” in Nice.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and other loved ones of those killed.”

Noting that the attack occurred on Bastille Day, Obama praised “the extraordinary resilience and democratic values that have made France an inspiration to the entire world.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry called it a “horrendous attack in Nice… I was proud to stand alongside French leaders earlier today at Bastille Day celebrations in Paris, and the United States will continue to stand firmly with the French people during this time of tragedy.”

Both US presidential candidates also condemned the attack, with Republican Donald Trump declaring “This is war” and Democrat Hillary Clinton vowing “We will not be intimidated.”

Clinton said that “every American stands in strong solidarity with the people of France, and we say with one voice: We will not be intimidated. We will never allow terrorists to undermine the egalitarian and democratic values that underpin our very way of life.”

A picture taken on July 14, 2016 shows a flash of lightning as fireworks explode over the French Riviera city of Nice, southeastern France, as part of France's annual Bastille Day Celebrations. (Valery Hache/AFP)
A flash of lightning is seen in the background as fireworks explode over the city of Nice, France, as part of France’s annual Bastille Day celebrations, July 14, 2016. (AFP/Valery Hache)

Trump, who postponed plans to announce his vice-presidential pick because of the attacks, said that “this is war. If you look at it, this is war coming from all different parts. And frankly it’s war and we’re dealing with people without uniforms.”

Germany “stands alongside France in the fight against terrorism,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday.

“We are all united in shock,” Merkel said on the sidelines of the two-day Asia-Europe summit, known as ASEM in Mongolia, adding that “words can barely express” what France’s allies felt.

A spokesman for new British Prime Minister Theresa May called the attack “a terrible incident,” adding that “we are shocked and concerned.”

Boris Johnson, whose first engagement as Britain’s new foreign secretary was at the French ambassador’s Bastille Day party in London, said on Twitter: “Shocked and saddened by the appalling events in Nice, and the terrible loss of life.”

European Council president Donald Tusk expressed consternation that France was attacked on its national day and said the world stands united with the French people.

“It is a tragic paradox that the victims of the attack are people celebrating liberty, quality and fraternity. We will stand united with the families of victims, the French people and the government in the fight against violence and hatred,” Tusk said at a meeting of Asian and European leaders in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar.

The United Nations Security Council called the attack “barbaric and cowardly.”

Latin American leaders also denounced the carnage, with Brazilian interim president Michel Temer declaring: “Today, more than ever, we are all French.” Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa added that he was sending France “a hug” after “a tragedy caused by insanity.”

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