Ya’alon: Europe attacks are ‘World War III’
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Ya’alon: Europe attacks are ‘World War III’

Defense minister says Israel and European nations are on same side in ‘a clash of civilizations’

Moshe Ya'alon in Jerusalem on January 17, 2016. (Amit Shabi/POOL)
Moshe Ya'alon in Jerusalem on January 17, 2016. (Amit Shabi/POOL)

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Thursday that the deadly bombings in Brussels are evidence of a new world war, which Israel and other countries must fight together.

“We’re in the same boat,” he told Army Radio in an interview. “The world finds itself at the moment in a third world war, or as it has been called, ‘a clash of civilizations’. We must face it together.”

“We cooperate with Belgium and other European countries,” he added. “We are on the same side, with shared values and interests.”

The jihadist Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attacks on the airport and a metro station in the Belgian capital that killed 31 people and wounded another 300.

People gather to observe a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the Brussels airport and metro bombings, on the Place de la Bourse in central Brussels, on March 23, 2016, a day after the triple blasts killed some 30 people and left around 250 injured. (AFP/Belga/AURORE BELOT)
People gather to observe a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the Brussels airport and metro bombings, on the Place de la Bourse in central Brussels, on March 23, 2016, a day after the triple blasts killed some 30 people and left around 250 injured. (AFP/Belga/AURORE BELOT)

A Likud minister on Wednesday had accused Belgian leaders of laxity over the threat posed by homegrown Muslim radicals.

“If in Belgium they continue to eat chocolate, enjoy life and parade as great liberals and democrats while not taking account of the fact that some of the Muslims who are there are organising acts of terror, they will not be able to fight against them,” Yisrael Katz told Israel Radio.

Ya’alon responded on Thursday by saying: “I would suggest not giving advice in public. And I’d be happy to eat dark Belgian chocolate.”

Former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shimon Peres in Paris on Thursday asked local religious leaders to give their communities a message of peace.

“We gathered here today Jews, Muslims and Christians to say loud and clear that we must fight terror, we must go against those preachers who are using God’s name in vain to promote bloodshed and incitement,” a statement from his office quoted him as saying.

“There is no God in the heavens that permits terrorism, there is no God willing to murder the innocent –- babies, children, here in Europe, in the Middle East or the rest of the world.”

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