Netanyahu cites ‘Islamic terrorism scourge’ in condolences to Australia


(JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his condolences to Prime Minister Tony Abbott after a deadly siege in Sydney said Israel and Australia “face the same scourge of ruthless Islamic terrorism.”

Netanyahu sent his letter on Wednesday, a day after police raided a cafe in the city’s commercial heart, ending a siege by the self-styled Iranian cleric Man Haron Monis.

“Israel and Australia face the same scourge of ruthless Islamic terrorism which knows no geographic bounds and targets innocent civilians indiscriminately,” the Israeli leader said. “Now, more than ever, the international community must join hands and work together to defeat these forces of evil, which threaten the security of all civilized nations.”

Monis, a refugee from Iran who was out on bail for several violent offenses, including being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, acted on his own. He was killed in the raid.

Two of his hostages also died after the 16-hour siege, which put the city’s Jewish community under lockdown.

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