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Two Israelis killed in Belgium museum attack

  • A woman passes in front of the Jewish Museum, the site of a shooting on Saturday, in central Brussels May 25, 2014. REUTERS/Eric Vidal (BELGIUM - Tags: CRIME LAW)

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Two of the three people shot dead in an attack on the Jewish museum in Brussels were Israeli tourists, a spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry said on Sunday.

"An Israeli couple in their 50s from Tel Aviv, who were visiting Brussels as tourists, were among the victims," Yigal Palmor told AFP, in reference to the deadly attack in the Belgian capital on Saturday.

"We have confidence in the Belgian authorities, in the justice system and the police to look into this horrible crime," he said.

Three people were killed and one was critically wounded when a gunman attacked the Jewish Museum in central Brussels on Saturday afternoon in an apparently anti-Semitic act that shocked the country.

The attack drew condemnation from top European officials.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said the attack was a result of "incessant incitement against Israel by different elements in the Middle East and Europe itself," slammed European "hypocrisy" over it.

"There are elements in Europe that rush to condemn the construction of a flat in Jerusalem but do not rush to condemn -- or offer only weak condemnations of -- the murder of Jews here or in Europe itself," he said of European objections to settlement construction in east Jerusalem.

"Even worse, they applaud unifications with terror groups like Hamas, which calls for the destruction of Israel," he said of the recent unity deal between Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah movement and the Islamist militant rulers of the Gaza Strip.

"We oppose this hypocrisy, we protest against it," he said in remarks relayed by his office.

President Shimon Peres spoke with head of Belgium's Jewish groups, Maurice Sosnowski, offering his condolences.

In a statement, Peres called upon European leaders to act against "any form of anti-semitism," which is "rearing its head across the continent".

Belgium Interior Minister Joelle Milquet on Saturday said it was too early to determine whether it was an anti-Semitic attack, but given the target "there are strong grounds for presuming so".

It was the first fatal attack on a Belgian Jewish centre since the early 1980s in a country which is home to 40,000 Jews, roughly half of whom live in the capital.

 
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Summary

Two of the three people shot dead in an attack on the Jewish museum in Brussels were Israeli tourists, a spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry said on Sunday.

The attack drew condemnation from top European officials.

President Shimon Peres spoke with head of Belgium's Jewish groups, Maurice Sosnowski, offering his condolences.

It was the first fatal attack on a Belgian Jewish centre since the early 1980s in a country which is home to 40,000 Jews, roughly half of whom live in the capital.


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