New York Mayor Bill de Blasio stands in solidarity with Jerusalem during Israel visit

ByREUTERS
October 18, 2015 07:13

The mayor came to the capital to participate in the Annual Conference of Mayors, despite the rising violence.




New York Mayor visits victims of recent attacks in Jerusalem

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio met his Jerusalem counterpart Mayor Nir Barkat on Saturday and visited stabbing victims recovering in Jerusalem's Hadassah University Medical Center in Ein Kerem.

After meeting some of the victims, de Blasio held a news conference alongside Barkat and expressed his solidarity with the people of Israel and particularly Jerusalem.

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De Blasio also took the opportunity to condemn the recent violence.

"We understand that any act of violence against a civilian is unacceptable and we have to condemn it and we have to stop it," he said. "Because there can't be peace when civilians are wantonly attacked just for going about their business."

He added that he had found hope "amidst this pain" and encouraged the people of Jerusalem "to move forward towards peace."

Seven Israelis have died in the recent street violence, which was in part triggered by Palestinians' anger over false rumors of increased Jewish encroachment on Jerusalem's al-Aksa mosque compound.

Israel says it is keeping the status quo at the holy compound, which is also revered by Jews as the location of two destroyed biblical Jewish temples.

The Palestinian dead include attackers wielding knives and protesters shot by Israeli forces as they threw rocks. The Israelis were killed in random attacks in the street or on buses.

De Blasio arrived in Israel on on Friday to participate in the Annual Conference of Mayors organized by the American Jewish Congress, American Council for World Jewry, and World Forum of Russian-Speaking Jewry.

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