Netanyahu cites ‘Islamic terrorism scourge’ in condolences to Australia

Ron Kampeas

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

“Israel and Australia face the same scourge of ruthless Islamic terrorism which knows no geographic bounds and targets innocent civilians indiscriminately,” Netanyahu said in his Dec. 16 letter, sent a day after police raided a café in the city’s commercial heart, ending a siege by Man Haron Monis.

“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,” Netanyahu said.

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, was a self-styled cleric who 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.