Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed condolences following back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that have rocked the United States and reinvigorated an ongoing national debate over white nationalism and gun control.
“In the past 24 hours, we have witnessed two murderous attacks in Texas and Ohio,” Netanyahu tweeted on Sunday evening. “On behalf of all government ministers and all citizens of Israel, I send condolences to the bereaved families, best wishes for recovery to the injured, and solidarity with the American people.”
Nine people were killed and 26 injured when a gunman identified as Connor Betts, 24, of Bellbrook, Ohio, opened fire in downtown Dayton, only hours after a man opened fire in a crowded El Paso, Texas, shopping area, leaving 20 dead and more than two dozen injured. Just days before, on July 28, a 19-year-old shot and killed three people, including two children, at Northern California’s Gilroy Garlic Festival.
The shooter in El Paso has been identified as 21-year old Patrick Crusius of Allen, Texas. He has been linked to a manifesto, posted online only minutes before his rampage, decrying a supposed “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” The manifesto made references to the Christchurch shootings in New Zealand, where a white gunman killed 51 mosque worshipers in March. Crusius claimed that he was “defending” his country “from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.”
He added: “If we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can be more sustainable.”
In the past 24 hours, we have witnessed two murderous attacks in Texas and Ohio. On behalf of all government ministers and all citizens of Israel, I send condolences to the bereaved families, best wishes for recovery to the injured, and solidarity with the American people.
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) August 4, 2019
Sunday’s shooting in Dayton is the 22nd mass killing of 2019 in the US, according to the AP/USA Today/Northeastern University mass murder database that tracks homicides where four or more people killed — not including the offender. The 20 mass killings in the US in 2019 that preceded this weekend claimed 96 lives.
Netanyahu has expressed his condolences following a number of mass shootings in the US, including after the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, in which a gunman killed 58 people during an outdoor concert.
In April, Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin condemned a shooting at a Chabad synagogue in Poway, California. That incident occurred exactly six months after a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue killed 11 people in the deadliest attack on Jews in US history.