JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent condolences to his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, on the murders of two Japanese citizens by the Islamic State.
“These loathsome acts of murder by ISIS are a chilling reminder of the need for all free nations to join hands in an uncompromising battle against the Islamist terrorism that is plaguing the Middle East and the entire world,” Netanyahu wrote in his letter to Abe sent Sunday.
The Islamic State announced Saturday in a video released online that it had beheaded Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.
Haruna Yukawa, a Japanese aid worker who had been held by the Islamic State, was shown killed in a video released by the group last week.
The videos showed the black-garbed, British-accented executioner featured in other ISIS videos standing next to his Japanese victims, who were dressed in orange prison jumpsuits.
On Sunday in Tokyo, Abe said, “We will never forgive terrorists. We will cooperate with the international community to make them atone for their crimes.”
Abe was visiting Israel last month when the Islamic State announced it was holding the two Japanese men hostage and demanded a $200 million ransom. The Japanese prime minister at the time called it “an unacceptable act of terrorism.”