Israeli president consoles Turkey on airport attack, embraces renewed ties
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Israeli president consoles Turkey on airport attack, embraces renewed ties

Passengers leaving Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey's largest airport, located in Istanbul, after a suicide bomb attack in the early hours of June 29, 2016. (Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images)

Passengers leaving Ataturk Airport in Istanbul following a suicide attack there, June 29, 2016. (Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli President Reuven Rivlin sent a letter of condolence to his Turkish counterpart in the aftermath of the terror attack at an Istanbul airport that has killed at least 41 and injured more than 230.

Three suicide bombers opened fire on passengers in the international terminal at the Ataturk Airport on Tuesday night before detonating themselves.

The attack came hours after Israel and Turkey signed a reconciliation deal ending a six-year break in diplomatic relations.

“This cowardly, murderous act is an example of the most vitriolic hatred the like of which we are sadly seeing across our region and the entire world today,” Rivlin wrote to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the letter sent Wednesday, in which he also offered Israeli assistance in recovering from the attack. “I take this opportunity to welcome the chance to renew our good relationship especially because our strengthened dialogue will greatly aid in our joint efforts against this threat, and because it sends a strong message to the terrorists that we will stand united against hatred.”

Turkey had cut off diplomatic relations with Israel in 2010 after Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish citizens on a boat that was attempting to break through Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

As Time reported, Turkish commentator Mustafa Akyol tweeted that the timing of the Istanbul bombing, just after the reconciliation deal was signed in Jerusalem and Ankara, may not have been a coincidence — suggesting the attack could have involved anti-Israel undertones.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement Tuesday “strongly condemning” the attack.

“All civilized nations must stand together to fight the scourge of terrorism,” the statement said.

Israeli diplomats who were at the airport at the time of the attack were unharmed. Israeli diplomats said that no Israeli tourists were among the victims taken to the hospital.

At least one Palestinian was confirmed killed and seven Palestinians injured in the attack. Among the other foreign nationals killed were people from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, China, Iran, Ukraine and Jordan, according to reports.

Israel’s embassy in Ankara condemned the attack and extended its condolences on Wednesday.

Though no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, Turkish officials have said it appears to have been mounted by the Islamic State.

The airport, the third busiest in Europe, was up and running by Wednesday morning.

Even during the diplomatic chill, Israel was one of the busiest routes for Turkish Airlines, with 695,000 Israelis flying round trip with the airline in 2014 and eight daily flights on the Tel Aviv-Istanbul route.

A Turkish Airlines flight scheduled to depart from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport for Ataturk Airport on Wednesday afternoon was canceled, according to the airlines website. Nine flights scheduled between Ben Gurion and Ataturk for Thursday show departure and arrival times on the airline’s website.