JERUSALEM (JTA) — Five Israelis injured in a suicide bombing in Istanbul returned to Israel.
Two Magen David Adom planes brought the moderately and lightly injured Israelis home on Sunday, a day after the attack in a major shopping and tourist area in a central part of the Turkish city.
A third plane sent from the Israel Defense Forces repatriated the bodies of the three Israeli victims killed in the bombing: Avraham Goldman, 69, of Herzliya; Yonatan Suher, 40, of Tel Aviv, and Simcha Damri, 60, of Dimona. Suher and Goldman also were U.S. citizens. Damri’s husband, Avi, was moderately wounded.
The fourth victim of the attack was an Iranian national identified as Ali Reza Razmhah.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered condolences to the families of the fatalities and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded.
“Terrorism sows death around the world,” Netanyahu said Sunday at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting. “Israel is at the forefront of the fight against global terrorism. This struggle is first of all military, but no less is it a moral struggle. The key to the moral fight against terrorism is to make it clear that terrorism, the murder of innocents, has no justification anywhere – not in Istanbul or the Ivory Coast or Jerusalem. Whoever does not condemn terrorism, supports terrorism.”
On Sunday, the suicide bomber was identified as a Turkish citizen, Mehmet Ozturk, by Turkey’s interior minister.
“The findings obtained show that the terrorist is linked to the Daesh terror organization,” said the minister, , Efkan Ala, according to The Associated Press. Daesh is an acronym for the Islamic State.
Also Sunday, Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau issued a travel warning calling on Israelis not to travel to Turkey. The warning cites the significant rise over the past two months in terror threats in Turkey, especially suicide bombings and particularly in Istanbul and Ankara, the capital.
The warning was raised to Level 2, defined as a basic concrete threat, from Level 4, meaning an ongoing potential threat.