Netanyahu offers Belgium PM assistance in combating terror

The aftermath of an explosion in a metro train in Brussels on March 22, 2016. Courtesy of Alexandre De Meeter/Twitter.com

The aftermath of an explosion in a metro train in Brussels on March 22, 2016. (Alexandre De Meeter/Twitter.com)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered Israeli assistance to combat terror in a phone conversation with his Belgian counterpart.

Netanyahu and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel spoke by telephone on Tuesday evening, half a day twin bombings at Zaventem Airport and at a metro station in central Brussels killed at least 34 people and injured dozens.

Netanyahu offered condolences on behalf of the people of Israel and wishes for a speedy recovery for the injured, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

He also told the Belgian PM that “terrorism does not distinguish between countries” and offered Israel’s help and cooperation in the fight against terrorism, the Prime Minister’s office said. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying it was in response to Belgium’s participation in the U.S.-led coalition fighting against the group.

The offer came hours after Netanyahu said in remarks carried by satellite from Jerusalem to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that the attacks in Brussels are linked to terror attacks in Israel.

“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 AIPAC annual policy conference 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.”

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying it was in response to Belgium’s participation in the U.S.-led coalition fighting against the group.

The attack came 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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