Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon point at a map as they visit soldiers in Hermon area.
(photo credit: ARIEL HERMONI / DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Israel’s leaders sent condolences to Jordan on Wednesday following Islamic State’s brutal murder of captive Jordanian pilot Lt. Mouath al-Kasaesbeh, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drawing parallels between Islamic State and Iran.
Netanyahu, during a visit to the Hermon Brigade base on the Golan Heights with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, said he wanted to send his condolences to King Abdullah II and the Jordanian people for the “grisly murder” of the pilot.
“In the Islamic State of ISIS, they burn people alive; in the Islamic State of Tehran, they hang them from cranes in the public squares,” he said. “Both are motivated by an extreme ideology of militant Islamic terrorism that has a cruelty that is unbounded.”
But, the prime minister added, “the greatest danger to the future and the security of the world is that this extremism will be backed up by nuclear weapons. This is something everyone must oppose.”
Netanyahu said he went to the base with Ya’alon to “view the IDF preparations against the new front, terror front, that Iran is seeking to establish here in the Golan Heights.”
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman also sent his condolences, issuing a statement saying that Israeli citizens have “been dealing with cruel terror of every kind for 66 years,” and both “identify with [Jordan’s] pain and support the harsh and decisive Jordanian response to the event.” Jordan swiftly executed two al-Qaida affiliated terrorists (who were already on death row) in response to the killing of the pilot.
“King Abdullah must be praised on his quick and powerful response to this despicable terror. Already this morning they executed a terrorist which ISIS had wished to have released, as well as another al-Qaida operative. Soon they will execute more terrorists imprisoned in the Kingdom,” Liberman said.
World leaders must respond to terrorism, particularly that of Islamic State, in a similar manner, the foreign minister said. “Terror cannot be defeated with words and declarations, but rather with harsh actions.”
It was forbidden to negotiate with terrorists or to carry out prisoner swaps with them, he said. “They must be annihilated and eradicated as the king of Jordan has done.”
“The world needs strong leadership which is obligated to destroy Islamic terrorism, including ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaida and their partners,” he said.
Amos Yadlin, the Zionist Union’s candidate for defense minister, spoke with Jordanian Ambassador to Israel Walid Obeidat, who returned this week after being recalled to Jordan in November, expressing condolences over the death of the pilot.
“This is a shocking incident that was carried out by people who have lost all trace of humanity. All of Israel commiserates with the Jordanian people – there is no opposition or coalition on this matter,” Yadlin said.
“Jordan is a strategic ally of Israel and the cooperation between the countries is important to the war on terror.
The incident yesterday highlights the importance of forming regional alliances that include all of the pragmatic actors as part of the fight against the extremists that threaten the stability of the entire region,” he added.Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.