Netanyahu links Brussels attacks with terrorism in Israel

(JTA) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel linked the attacks on an airport and metro station in Brussels to terror attacks in his country.

“The chain of attacks from Paris to San Bernardino, from Istanbul to the Ivory Coast and now to Brussels, and the daily attacks on Israel, this is one continuous assault on all of us,” Netanyahu said Tuesday morning in an address via satellite to the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington, D.C. “In all these cases, the terrorists have no resolvable grievances.

“What they seek is our utter destruction,” he said. “We won’t let that happen.”

At least 34 people were killed and dozens injured on Tuesday morning in the twin bombings at Zaventem Airport and at a metro station in central Brussels. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Israel’s minister of science, technology and space, Ofir Akunis, said in a Facebook post that European officials have been wasting their time worrying about labeling products produced in Israeli settlements instead of worrying about the growth of Islamic extremism in Europe.

“Many in Europe have preferred to occupy themselves with the folly of condemning Israel, labeling products, and boycotts,” he wrote. “In this time, underneath the nose of the Continent’s citizens, thousands of extremist Islamic terror cells have grown. To our sorrow, the reality has struck the lives of dozens of innocent people, powerfully and fatally.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas strongly condemned the bombing attacks, and offered his sympathy to families of those killed and injured, the Wafa Palestinian news agency reported. Abbas also “affirmed that the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people abhor terrorism and reject attacking civilians.”

The attack comes two days after a suicide bomber detonated himself near a group of Israeli tourists at a restaurant in Istanbul. Turkish reports said the bomber targeted the Israelis. Three of the four fatalities were Israelis.

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