Israel condemns deadly London attack, expresses solidarity with UK

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan also reacts, saying: "This was an attack not just against the UK but against Western values and democracy. Our prayers are with the victims."

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
June 4, 2017 10:22
4 minute read.
London attack

People flee as police attend to an incident near London Bridge in London. (photo credit: REUTERS / HANNAH MCKAY)

Israel condemned on Sunday an attack in London that killed seven people and wounded some 50 others late on Saturday.

"Israel condemns last night's horrific #LondonBridgeAttack. We stand with the British people at this time," the Foreign Ministry said on Twitter.

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Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan also expressed his condolences and Israel's solidarity with the UK and the victims of the most recent attack in the British capital.
Cell phone videos show people running for safety after London attack (credit: REUTERS)

"Israel stands in solidarity with the #UK and #London in the fight against terror. It's time for a new global alliance against #terror," he said.

"This was an attack not just against the UK but against Western values and democracy. Our prayers are with the victims," he added on Twitter.

In addition, Israel Ambassador to the UK spoke out against the attack. "Appalled at last night's terrorist attack. Israel stands in solidarity with London: terror & hatred will never defeat us," he said on social media.

Also among Israeli officials to respond to the attack was Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who expressed condolences on behalf of the capital to the residents of London.

"Terror is terror - anywhere in the world - and the free world must come together to fight evil," he said in a statement addressed to his London counterpart, Sadiq Khan. "An attack in London is an attack against the values of freedom and democracy around the world."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families at this time," he stated, adding that, "Jerusalem stands with London - today and always."

New Zealand and Russian defense ministers were also among international representatives to express their condolences to the victims of the attack in the British capital, at a security forum in Singapore.

During the deadly incident, militants drove a van at high speed into pedestrians on London Bridge before stabbing revelers on the street and in nearby bars, killing at least six people and wounding more than 30. On Sunday, British authorities confirmed that the death toll had raised to seven.

Armed police rushed to the scene and shot dead the three male attackers in the Borough Market area near the bridge as authorities urged Londoners on Twitter to "run, hide, tell" if they were caught up in the violence.

Police officers guard the approach to Southwark Bridge after an attack near London Bridge in London. (Reuters/Neil Hall)

The attacks come days ahead of a June 8 election and less than two weeks after a suicide bomber killed 22 people at a pop concert by US singer Ariana Grande in Manchester in northern England. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

"Sadly, six people have died in addition to the three attackers shot by police," Mark Rowley, Britain's top anti-terrorism officer, said. The three attackers had been wearing what looked like explosive vests that were later found to have been hoaxes.

On Sunday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan spoke of a "cowardly attack on innocent Londoners and visitors to our city enjoying their Saturday night."

Khan said the official threat level in Britain remained at severe, meaning an attack is highly likely. It had been raised to critical after the Manchester attack, then lowered again days later.

Witnesses described a white van careering into pedestrians on the bridge.

"It looked like he was aiming for groups of people. I froze because I didn't know what to do," Mark Roberts, 53, a management consultant, told Reuters. He saw at least six people on the ground after the van veered on and off the pavement.

"It was horrendous," he said.

A taxi driver told the BBC that three men got out of the van with long knives and "went randomly along Borough High Street stabbing people."

Police attend to an incident on London Bridge in London, Britain, June 3, 2017. (REUTERS/HANNAH MCKAY)

Witnesses described people running into a bar to seek shelter.

"People started running and screaming, and the van crashes into the railing behind. We went towards Borough Market and everyone went inside (the bar). Everyone in the bar started pushing people from the exits," one witness, who gave his name as Brian, 32, told Reuters.

Another witness, who declined to be named, his white top covered in blood, described a scene of panic in the bar.

"They hit the emergency alarm. There was a line of people going down to the emergency exit. And then people started screaming coming back up," the 31-year-old said.

"Around the corner there was a guy with a stab wound on his neck ... There was a doctor in the pub and she helped him. They put pressure on the stab wound."

BBC radio said witnesses saw people throwing tables and chairs at the attackers to protect themselves.

The BBC showed dozens of people being escorted to safety through a police cordon with their hands on their heads.


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