JERUSALEM (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. 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.
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.
Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, sent a condolence letter on Tuesday to King Philippe of Belgium.
“Terrorism is terrorism is terrorism, whether it takes place in Brussels, Paris, Istanbul or Jerusalem,” Rivlin wrote. “These horrific events once again prove that we must all stand united in the fight against those who seek to use violence to stifle individual liberty and freedom of thought and belief, and continue to destroy the lives of so many. I want to emphasize that this struggle that we all share is against this violent terrorism that continues to kill and maim so many, it is not a fight against Islam.”
Rivlin expressed his condolences to the people of Belgium.
“Sadly, we, in Israel, are no strangers to the horror and grief that follows such murderous attacks and can understand the pain you all feel now,” he said.
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.”