Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday drew parallels between the massive terror rampage that rocked Paris Friday and attacks against Israelis, saying the world that had rallied to condemn bloodshed in France must do so for Israel as well.
“It is time for states to condemn terrorism against us like they condemn terrorism anywhere else in the world. It is appropriate that [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas, who condemned the attack in France yesterday, will condemn the cruel terrorism against innocents in Israel and fight the incitement fueling it,” Netanyahu told his cabinet meeting.
Referring to a Friday shooting attack that left a rabbi and son dead in the West Bank, Netanyahu said the perpetrators had been the same.
“Hours after the murder in Otniel, terrorists went on a ruthless terror attack in Paris and murdered innocents,” he said. “In Israel, as in France, terrorism is terrorism, and the force standing behind it is radical Islam and its wish to destroy its victims.”
At least 129 people died in the attack in Paris and more than 300 were wounded in a large, coordinated shooting and bombing attack claimed by the Islamic State, the worst violence to hit the country since World War II.
There was no claim of responsibility for the Otniel shooting, which came amid a wave of stabbings and other attacks that have left 15 Israelis dead in two months.
The prime minister has compared Palestinian terrorists to the Islamic State group in the past, with critics responding that he was oversimplifying a complicated threat.
Netanyahu also rejected claims that terror against Israel was linked to policies in the West Bank.
“We are not at fault for the terrorism turned toward us just as the French are not at fault for the terrorism turned toward them. Those to blame for terrorism are terrorists. Not the [disputed West Bank] territories, not the settlements nor any other factor – it is the will to destroy us that keeps the conflict alive and motivates murderous aggression against us,” he said.
He said Israel’s “resolute policy,” including “controlling territory, entering villages, demolishing terrorists’ homes, disrupting terror networks,” were the reasons Israel “many times succeeds in intercepting and preventing more severe disasters.”
Other Israelis have also drawn parallels between the terrorism in France and Israel.
“The whole world now understands what we experience in Israel and Jerusalem – murderous terrorism motivated by the same hatred and a mission of death against innocents in the West,” Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat wrote late Saturday, after attending the funeral for West Bank victims Yaakov and Netanel Litman.
Jewish Home leader and Education Minister Naftali Bennett seemed to say that Europe had received its comeuppance for taking anti-Israel stances.
“I said that if they wouldn’t stand with us it will eventually reach them – and now this happened,” Bennett told Army Radio.