Israelis condemn ‘hideous’ Turkey airport attack
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Israelis condemn ‘hideous’ Turkey airport attack

Knesset speaker blasts terrorists ‘who sanctify death’; MK Yair Lapid chides world for criticizing Israel more than Muslims who kill Muslims

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Workers assess damage at the explosions and attacks site in Ataturk airport's international arrivals terminal on June 29, 2016, a day after a suicide bombing and gun attack targeted Istanbul's airport (AFP/OZAN KOSE)
Workers assess damage at the explosions and attacks site in Ataturk airport's international arrivals terminal on June 29, 2016, a day after a suicide bombing and gun attack targeted Istanbul's airport (AFP/OZAN KOSE)

The Israeli Embassy in Ankara issued a condemnation Wednesday of the triple suicide bombing in Turkey the night before that killed dozens of people and injured over 140 at Istanbul’s main airport.

The attack came hours after Israel and Turkey signed a reconciliation deal, ending a six-year rift and agreeing to upgrade diplomatic relations.

“Israel harshly condemns the hideous terror attack on Istanbul Ataturk Airport yesterday that claimed the lives of many innocent people,” the embassy said in a statement. “We extend our condolences to the Turkish government, the Turkish people, and the families of those who lost their lives; and we wish a speedy recovery to those who are injured.”

Three suicide bombers opened fire at passengers with automatic rifles at the airport before blowing themselves up and signs indicated the Islamic State group was responsible, Turkish officials said.

The Foreign Ministry reported that all Israelis known to be in Turkey at the time were accounted for and none of them were among the killed or injured.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, in a letter sent to his Turkish counterpart, Ismail Kahraman, expressed “his deep shock and outrage at the vile terror attack” that, he said, was committed by “savage terrorists who sanctify death over life.”

“Unfortunately,” he continued, “as many other countries, Turkey has fallen victim to murderous terror attacks by extremists who, in the name of God, wish to disrupt normal civic life, inseminating fear and terror to promote their deadly goals.”

Former president of Israel Shimon Peres offered his condolences and said world leaders should ally in a campaign against terrorism.

“This morning my heart is with the Turkish people who yesterday experienced an unbearable terror attack in which dozens of innocent civilians were murdered in cold blood by extremist fanatics,” he said in a statement.

Passengers leave Ataturk airport in Istanbul on June 28, 2016 after two explosions followed by gunfire hit Turkey's biggest airport, killing at least 28 people and injuring 20. / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE / Turkey OUT
Passengers leave Ataturk airport in Istanbul on June 28, 2016 after two explosions followed by gunfire hit Turkey’s biggest airport, killing at least 28 people and injuring 20. / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE / Turkey OUT

“Whoever turns himself to terror needs to know that there will be serious consequences,” continued the Nobel Peace prize winner and then made an unusually graphic appeal for action.

“I call on all of the world’s leaders to join hands in a stubborn and an uncompromising war on terror and to hack off the arms of the murderer and hater of others. I send my condolences to the families of those killed and speedy recovery to the many injured.”

Opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog offered his condolences in a message posted to his Twitter account.

“Murderous terror is the main enemy of humanity. My heart and thoughts are with the victims at Ataturk airport.” Herzog tweeted.

MK Yair Lapid, leader of the opposition Yesh Atid party, condemned the attack, but criticized the harsh attitude of the global community toward Israel compared to its attitude to Islamic terror.

“I send condolences to families of those killed in Turkey,” he said in a statement. “And with anger and disgust, condemn expressions like ‘they deserved it’ about the deaths of innocent people.”

Yesh Atid party chairman, Yair Lapid, speaks during a faction meeting at the Knesset, June 27, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Yesh Atid party chairman, Yair Lapid, speaks during a faction meeting at the Knesset, June 27, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

“12 million Muslims were killed by other Muslims since 1948,” he added, in reference to the year of the establishment of the State of Israel. “The number of fatalities in the Israeli-Arab conflict stands at 0.3% of that…. And still, the world, the UN, the international organizations continue to condemn Israel without restraint.”

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