Israel mourns mosque victims

ISRAELI leaders have strongly condemned the terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand in which at least 50 worshippers were killed.

“The murder of people at prayer, in their most holy and sacred place, is a depraved and despicable act,” said president Reuven Rivlin.

“For people of all religions and of none, a red line has been crossed.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Israel mourns the wanton murder of innocent worshippers in Christchurch and condemns the brazen act of terror.”

And foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said: “We should never let hatred, violence and terror win.”

Synagogues in New Zealand closed on Shabbat for the first time in solidarity with the bereaved families of those killed at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques.

Britain’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis declared the attacks to be “terrorism of the most despicable kind” which, he said, were “callously planned and motivated by the scourge of Islamophobia”.

World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder said: “We must redouble efforts to combat hatred and division in our societies, from wherever it emanates.”

And the Zionist Federation of Australia said: “As Jews, we know all too well what it is like to live in fear.

“The Tree of Life massacre in Pittsburgh is still fresh in our minds. We demanded action then and we demand action now.

“The Jewish community stands with the Muslim community in this shocking act of terror.”

The main suspect in the mosque attacks made a brief visit to Israel in late 2016, Israeli officials said.

Brenton Tarrant, an Australian national, entered the country on a three-month tourist visa and stayed for nine days, added an official with the Population and Immigration Authority. No reason for the visit was given.

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