A terrorist shooting spree at a New Year’s Eve party in Turkey killed more than three dozen people, with an Israeli among the dozens of foreigners murdered in the attack. The Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reported that the assault occurred at a Turkish night club a little over an hour into the new year. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in comments from his office, offered his condolences to the families of those murdered.
“The fight against terror is a global struggle,” said Netanyahu “Over the weekend [German] Chancellor [Angela] Merkel said what we have been saying for years, that the greatest threat to the future of the world comes from the side of radical Islam. Of course, this terror continues to strike.” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon identified the murdered Israeli as Leanne Nasser. Nahshon said on Twitter that Nasser was a “victim of blind hatred and fanaticism. May her memory be blessed.”
In a separate tweet, Nahshon said, “We are stronger than the terrorists. Life and freedom will prevail.”
The Times of Israel reported that Nasser was an Arab Israeli, one of four Israelis who were at the scene. Citing an interview with one of the survivors with Israel’s Channel 2, the report quoted Dr. Ayia Ihsan Abd al-Hay as saying that the shooter shouted a Muslim mantra as he attacked.
The Hurriyet Daily News report noted the violence bore a similarity to the Paris concert attack by ISIS in November 2015. Holiday attacks from terrorists are nothing new—the Nice attack in 2016 was on France’s national Bastille Day and last month’s attack in Berlin was aimed at a Christmas market.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in comments after the attack that Turkey was prepared to defend itself and implied he believed the attack to be linked to the broader crisis in the Middle East, possibly referring to the civil war in Syria that has been a breeding ground for ISIS. “We are aware that these attacks, carried out by various terror organizations against our country, are not independent from incidents happening in our region,” Erdoğan was quoted by the Turkish Presidency website as saying. “We are determined to eradicate threats and attacks against our country at their source.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin offered his condolences on the Turkish attack on Sunday in comments released by his office. “I send from here my sympathies and wishes for better days, to the families who have lost their sons and daughters, and to the Turkish people after another disaster which has befallen them,” said the Israeli President.
In the wake of another terror attack—which came just an hour after another turbulent and violent year came to a close—Rivlin noted that “this is a complex and turbulent time for the State of Israel, but not only for the State of Israel.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, January 1, 2017)