TEL AVIV – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu linked Islamic State terrorism to that of the Palestinians, saying on Wednesday that both are motivated by hope and pursue the same goals.
“I already said many times that terrorism is caused not by occupation and despair, but by hope — the hope of the Islamic State terrorists to establish an Islamic caliphate in all of Europe [and] the hope of Palestinian terrorists that they will succeed in establishing a Palestinian state in the entire territory of the State of Israel,” the prime minister said at a last-minute press conference following Tuesday’s attacks in Brussels that killed at least 32 people and wounded hundreds more.
Netanyahu conveyed his condolences to the people of Belgium, saying,
If there is one people in the world that knows what they are going through, it is the citizens of Israel, who have heroically and courageously stood up to terror attacks for many years. I offered them Israel’s full support in the struggle against terror, both intelligence and security assistance.
“We’re in a global war against terror. It’s a war of the civilized world versus the sons of darkness. Terrorism strikes everywhere,” he added, calling Paris, Brussels, Istanbul, the Ivory Coast, Ankara, California, and Israel shared targets of terrorism.
“In all of these places, terrorism does not stem from deprivation. It does not come from frustration. It stems from a murderous ideology — the desire to destroy the enemy and to uproot him,” he said.
Netanyahu said he had conveyed to Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini that Israel would provide full assistance in the struggle against terror, including in the areas of security and intelligence.
Netanyahu said that the world must join together to fight terrorism.
“Israel stands ready to cooperate with all nations in this great struggle. These terrorists seek our destruction, but they will fail; but if we work together they will fail a lot sooner,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu rejected the suggestion that his idea for a global campaign against terrorism was obfuscating his own government’s failure to end the current wave of Palestinian terror in Israel. He added that he understands the concerns of the Israeli public and appreciates its support and courage. “We are acting against terrorism in ways that are sometimes unprecedented, and as a result of that we have had success in preventing many large attacks like we have seen elsewhere.”
The deterrence methods he listed included numerous arrests, house demolitions, denying work permits, shutting down incendiary ration stations, closing the borders, completing a security fence to prevent entrance to Israeli cities, and other steps he said he could not elaborate on.
He also said that more and more countries from around the world are coming to Israel to learn from its experience in fighting terrorism, and “the number is growing each day.”