Israel, world leaders condemn France terror attack
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Israel, world leaders condemn France terror attack

EU, Russia, Germany, US and Muslim groups pan ‘barbaric’ shootout which killed 12 at satirical newspaper known for Mohammed caricatures

French President Francois Hollande (C) arrives at the headquarters of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015, after armed gunmen stormed the offices leaving eleven dead, including two police officers, according to sources close to the investigation. (photo credit: AFP/KENZO TRIBOUILLARD)
French President Francois Hollande (C) arrives at the headquarters of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015, after armed gunmen stormed the offices leaving eleven dead, including two police officers, according to sources close to the investigation. (photo credit: AFP/KENZO TRIBOUILLARD)

Israel on Wednesday denounced the deadly attack on a French satirical magazine, amid a wave of condemnations from world leaders and French Muslim organizations.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman sent his condolences to the French people in the wake of the attack on the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine, which left 12 people dead including several prominent French satirical cartoonists.

“Israel sympathizes with France’s pain,” he said, according to a statement by his spokesperson.

“The world must not allow terrorists to intimidate the free world and the West is obligated to stand united and determined against this threat,” Liberman said.

The EU, Germany, Russia, Canada, and the US also strongly condemned the terror attack, which gunmen stormed the magazine’s building and killed its employees.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called it an act of “barbarism.”

“I am profoundly shocked by the brutal and inhuman attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo. This is an intolerable act, an act of barbarism which challenges us all as human and Europeans,” Juncker said in a statement issued by the 28-nation EU.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the “despicable” attack in a condolence letter to French President Francois Hollande.

Police officers and firefighters gather in front of the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015, after armed gunmen stormed the offices leaving at least 11 dead.  (Photo credit: AFP/ PHILIPPE DUPEYRAT)
Police officers and firefighters gather in front of the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015, after armed gunmen stormed the offices leaving 12 dead. (Photo credit: AFP/ PHILIPPE DUPEYRAT)

“I was shocked to learn of the despicable attack on the newspaper in Paris,” the German leader wrote.

Merkel said “this repulsive act” was “not only an attack on the lives of French citizens and France’s national security.”

“It is also an attack on freedom of expression and the press — a key component of our free democratic culture — which cannot be justified,” she said.

“I would like to express to you and your compatriots in this hour of suffering the sympathy of the German people as well my own sorrow, and convey my condolences to the victims’ loved ones.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned “terrorism” in all its forms, his spokesman said Wednesday.

“Moscow resolutely condemns terrorism in all its forms,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS news agency, adding: “Nothing can justify terrorist attacks.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin at his annual holiday news conference in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, December 18, 2014. (photo credit: AP/RIA Novosti Kremlin, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)
Russian President Vladimir Putin at his annual holiday news conference in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, December 18, 2014. (photo credit: AP/RIA Novosti Kremlin, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)

“President Putin… expresses his deep condolences to the relatives and loved ones of the dead and also to the people of Paris and all the French,” Peskov said.

“We are convinced that the fight with terrorism is impossible without cooperation between many sides,” Putin’s spokesman said in a separate comment to RIA Novosti state news agency. “Not one country can fight this evil alone.”

The US and Canada swiftly condemned the massacre as well.

“Everybody here at the White House are with the families of those who were killed or injured in this attack,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, speaking on MSNBC.

“Senior officials at the White House have been in close touch with their counterparts in France this morning,” he added.

“The United States stand ready to work closely with the French” to help investigate the attack.

In Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he was “horrified by the barbaric attacks in France.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” Harper said.

The French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) umbrella group strongly decried the “barbaric” attack on the magazine, and the Union des organisations islamiques de France (UOIF) “condemns in the strongest terms this criminal attack, and these horrible murders,” according to a statement on its website.

Pope Francis strongly condemned the “horrible attack” as well.

“The Holy Father expresses the strongest condemnation for the horrible attack that plunged the city of Paris into mourning,” Federico Lombardi said in a statement.

Some of the best-known cartoonists in France were among the 12 killed when gunmen stormed the office of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, a judicial source said.

Editor-in-chief Stephane Charbonnier, known as Charb, and the cartoonists known as Cabu, Tignous and Wolinski were killed in the attack on the paper, which gained notoriety for repeatedly publishing caricatures of the Muslim prophet Mohammed. Two policemen were also said killed in the shooting.

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