Europe

Tel Aviv Attack Draws Global Condemnations; UN “Shocked” at Hamas Support for Violence

World leaders have condemned the deadly terror attack that killed four Israelis at the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.

French President Francois Hollande condemned “with the greatest strength the odious attack.” He added his “support for Israel in the fight against terrorism.”

“I condemn the heinous terrorist attack in Tel Aviv today,” presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said in a statement. “I send my deepest condolences to the families of those killed and I will continue to pray for the wounded. Israel’s security must remain non-negotiable.”

U.S. State Department Spokesperson Mark Toner condemned the “horrific terrorist attack in Tel Aviv in the strongest possible terms….These cowardly attacks against innocent civilians can never be justified.” Toner added that the United States was in contact with and offering support to Israel.

A spokesperson for the European Union’s External Action Service issued a statement expressing sympathy for the civilians who were killed and injured by the “indiscriminate” shooting. “Those responsible for these murders must be brought to justice. Those who praise this attack must be condemned,” the statement concluded.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made similar comments, saying in a statement that “There is no justification for terrorism nor for the glorification of those who commit such heinous acts.” Ban added that he was “shocked” that the leadership of Hamas celebrated the attack. (Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called one of the shooters a hero, while some Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza lit fireworks and handed out sweets in honor of the killings.)

Times of Israel diplomatic correspondent Rafael Ahren observed that the EU and UN statements were notable for criticizing terror without simultaneously calling for Israeli restraint or for a resumption of peace talks, as similar statements made by them have done in the past. Ahren attributed this change to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call on the world to “condemn” the Palestinian Authority’s “failure to condemn terrorism.”

Nickolay Mladenov, the U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, offered condolences to the families of those injured and killed and offered an unqualified condemnation of the terror attack on Twitter. Like Secretary General Ban, he also expressed “shock” at the reaction of Hamas to the terror.

The tweet prompted some criticisms.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Saudi news network Al-Arabiya referred to those killed as “victims” rather than “settlers,” The Jerusalem Post reported, prompting some Arab critics to accuse the channel of defending Israel. Dahham al-Enazi, a member of the Saudi Journalists Association, tweeted a condemnation of the attack: “The Tel Aviv attack is terror and thuggery. Our solidarity and support for the Palestinian people does not mean that we accept the killing of innocents and civilians. We would like to extend our condolences to the families of the victims.”

[Photo: Ben Kelmer / Flash90 ]