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Nations Condemn Jerusalem Terror Attack

Posted: March 7, 2008

Nations around the world issued statements condemning the March 6, 2008 terror attack in Jerusalem, in which a Palestinian gunman killed eight students and wounded at least nine others at the Mercaz Harav yeshiva. A number of terrorist groups have claimed responsibility for the attack, including Hamas and Hezbollah.  The gunman was killed the scene. It was the deadliest attack on Israeli civilians in nearly two years and the first attack inside Jerusalem for more than four years.


The following are selected statements issued by world leaders in the aftermath of the attack:




"Argentina energetically condemns the attack against a Jewish religious school, in Jerusalem, in which nearly ten civilians were killed. The Argentine Government expresses its deep preoccupation before the new outbreak of tensions and violence in the region which is moving the parties away from dialogue and aggravates the situation of insecurity of the civil society. Argentina exhorts to the cease of violent acts in order to make possible, the reinforcement of a climate that allows redirecting the negotiation process, in search of a just, lasting and global peace." -- Ministry of Foreign Affairs.




 "(I am) shocked and appalled by the attack against the Mercaz Harav school in Jerusalem last night, in which eight students are reported killed. Australia condemns unreservedly such cowardly violence against innocent civilians. Such violence seeks only to undermine the peace process, which offers the only hope for a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." -- Foreign Minister Stephen Smith.


A Foreign Ministry statement read: "The Brazilian Government received, with great consternation, the notice of the attack against the Mercaz Harav School in Jerusalem last Thursday, March 6th, in which eight students were killed and more than a ten of students were injured. By expressing its more sincere condolences and solidarity with the families of the victims, the Brazilian Government reaffirms its vehement condemnation to any act of terrorism and reiterates its call to the involved parts to cease all acts of violence that can compromise the continuation of the current efforts for peace, in the framework of the agreements reached in the Conference of Annapolis."



"We categorically denounce any attack on human life and the right to safe and peaceful existence of citizens. We offer our deepest and heart-felt condolences for the families of the victims." -- Ministry of Foreign Affairs




"Canada is saddened and concerned by the shootings that took place in a Jerusalem school. We offer our condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Israel. Canada condemns this terrorist act in the strongest possible terms. It does nothing to advance the Palestinian cause. Canada calls on all Palestinian leaders to reject such atrocious terrorist tactics, which are contrary to the peace process." -- Maxime Bernier, Minister of Foreign Affairs.




"China condemns the violent act targeted at civilians. We urge again that relevant parties keep restraint and avoid taking any move that will lead to escalation of tensions in the region." -- Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


European Union - Presidency


European Union Presidency, held by Slovenia: "These vicious acts of horror are totally unacceptable and there can be no justification for them. This terrorist act must not derail the peace process ... and endanger the efforts for achieving lasting peace and security in the region."


European Union - Commission


Javier Solana, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union, called Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni "to condemn the attack" and offer his condolences to the victims' families and Israeli leaders.




According to a spokesman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy condemned what he called a "cowardly and barbarous" act.




Chancellor Angela Merkel was "devastated" by the attack and condemned it "in the strongest terms," a government spokesman said. She had phoned Olmert to ask that he convey her condolences to the families of the victims.


Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier: "Today's attack in Jerusalem fills me with abhorrence. I condemn this criminal act in the strongest terms. Our thoughts are with the victims' families at this difficult time."




According to a spokesman, Foreign Minister George Koumoutsakos said that Greece "expresses its indignation and categorically condemns the terrorist attack on a religious school in Jerusalem. While being aware of the difficulties for both sides, we encourage the continuation of their efforts for peace and a better future for the region."



"We condemn the mindless terrorist attack on the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in West Jerusalem last evening in which eight innocent young Israeli lives were lost and several others injured. Terrorism in any form cannot be tolerated." -- Ministry of Foreign Affairs.




"I am horrified by the attack on the religious school in Jerusalem last night in which eight young students were brutally killed and many others injured.  Our thoughts today are with the families of the victims."-- Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern.




"We condemn the mindless terrorist attack on the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in West Jerusalem last evening in which eight innocent young Israeli lives were lost and several others injured. Terrorism in any form cannot be tolerated." -- Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 




Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi condemned the "cowardly" attack, while appealing to Olmert to continue efforts for peace with the Palestinians, which he called "the most effective response to those who oppose dialogue."




"Japan strongly condemns the terrorist shooting attack in Jerusalem. It is extremely regrettable that such an incident occurred at a time when both parties are making efforts for peace building. They need to prevent a potential chain reaction of violence caused by this incident. Japan calls strongly on all sides concerned to show restraint." -- Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura




"The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maxime Verhagen, has strongly condemned the attack by a Palestinian gunman on a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem on 6 March, in which eight students were killed. The gunman was shot dead by an Israeli soldier. The Minister also rang his Israeli counterpart, Tzipi Livni, to express his condolences. The Minister said that there could be no excuse for such an appalling attack on innocent civilians, adding that Israel had the right to defend itself against terrorism. He pointed out that Israeli measures should however be proportional and spare civilians." -- Ministry of Foreign Affairs




"I strongly condemn yesterday's terrorist attack on the Israeli students in Jerusalem. I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to their families." -- Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre



The MFA of the Republic of Poland, "in the strongest possible terms condemns the terror attack on a Jewish seminary Merkaz Harav yesterday, which resulted in eight casualties and many others seriously injured. We truly sympathize with the families who lost their loved ones and we extend our deepest condolences to everyone concerned. We would like to wish all the injured a quick recovery. The ruthless violence which we face in the Middle East calls for all the condemnation and rejection by those who share the ideas of a peaceful cohabitation of the Palestinian and Jewish nations, in the Middle East. Terrorists and extremists aim at the very heart of the peace process; they try to impose hatred and violence. They fight against the vision of security, decent life and steady development of Jewish community and an independent Palestine. The current situation calls for all determination, at both sides, and takes all the support from the worldwide community, in order to win with those aiming at destruction of the idea of a peaceful cohabitation in the Near East. We thus appeal to both sides of the conflict, in the name of respect for those innocent victims, not to leave a track for compromise. We would like to encourage even more determination towards a political closure of the conflict. The tragic death of many innocent people in the last days proves that there are no violent or imposed solutions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."



"Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had a telephone conversation with the head of the Israeli Foreign Ministry Tzipi Livni on March 7 at the initiative of the Israeli side. Lavrov confirmed Moscow's condemnation of the terrorist attack in Jerusalem and recognition of Israel's right to protect the life and security of its citizens.




"The fatal shootings in Jerusalem are an unacceptable terrorist attack and I condemn them in as strong terms as they have been condemned by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and others. Terrorist attacks targeted at innocent civilians can never be accepted. There is a risk that this attack will lead to a further escalation of violence." -- Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt




"Switzerland has learnt with shock of the attack on a Jewish rabbinical seminary in the Kiryat Moshe quarter in west Jerusalem on Thursday evening, killing eight students and injuring many more. Switzerland strongly condemns this attack of terror against innocent civilians and expresses its condolences to the relatives of the victims." -- Ministry of Foreign Affairs




A statement of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that terrorism has no religion, nationality or geography, indicating that it was a crime against humanity. The statement said real target of the recent terrorist attack, which claimed lives of innocent people, was in fact the endeavors to maintain peace and noted that the "best response against such kind of provocations is to record progress on Annapolis process. Turkey sincerely wishes such heinous attacks to further strengthen firmness and will of the parties to restore peace. Turkey will continue its active contributions to the efforts to find a fair and permanent solution on the basis of two states that would live side-by-side."

United Kingdom


British Prime Minister Gordon Brown: "This is clearly an attempt to strike a blow at the very heart of the peace process. I think it's very important to emphasise that those people who want to stop the peace process should be stopped from doing so by the combined determination of the whole world."


United Nations


United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the shooting, calling it a "savage attack." In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Ban deplored the deliberate killing and injuring of civilians and offered his condolences to the families of those killed: "The Secretary-General is deeply concerned at the potential for continued acts of violence and terrorism to undermine the political process, which he believes must be pursued to achieve a secure and lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians, based on a two-State solution."



A Foreign Ministry statement condemned the terrorist attack: "We consider unacceptable extremist actions that take away every person's most precious thing: a right to life," the ministry said in the statement. Ukraine confirms its consistent stance regarding solving the Palestine-Israeli conflict by exclusively peaceful means: through talks. It calls for patience and preventing further escalation of violence […]"


United States


President George W. Bush: "This barbaric and vicious attack on innocent civilians deserves the condemnation of every nation. I have just spoken with Prime Minister Olmert to extend my deepest condolences to the victims, their families, and to the people of Israel. I told him the United States stands firmly with Israel in the face of this terrible attack." 

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice: "I spoke with Foreign Minister Livni to express my condolences to the people of Israel and the families of the victims of the attack tonight against rabbinical students at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem. We hold all citizens of Israel in our thoughts and prayers in this tragic hour. We wish a full and rapid recovery to all those injured. The United States condemns tonight's act of terror and depravity. This barbarous act has no place among civilized peoples and shocks the conscience of all peace loving nations. There is no cause that could ever justify this action."





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