(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON — Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Thursday condemned an attack on civilians in Tel Aviv as an act of terror backed by the "uncivilized world," warning that as president, extremist militant organizations such as Hamas will find "no refuge" on his watch.
In a statement, Trump said he awaits details of the event, which involved at least three Palestinian perpetrators shooting nine Israeli civilians in a popular Tel Aviv market. Four victims have died.
"Just as fast as the condolences arrive from the civilized world is the praise arising out of the uncivilized one," Trump said.
"Hamas praised the attack, calling the attackers 'heroes.' Reports out of Hebron indicate that residents of the terrorists’ hometown lit up the night sky with celebratory fireworks. One Palestinian 'news organization' even referred to the shootings, in which the assailants dressed up as observant Jews, as a 'Ramadan treat.' The leader of Hamas called the injured terrorist a 'hero.'" "How despicable!," he added.
Trump characterized the American people's solidarity with Israel as strong and its commitment to Israel's security as "of paramount importance."
He seemed to place some blame for the attack not just on Hamas, but on the Palestinian Authority, the local governing body in the West Bank from which the attack's perpetrators allegedly emerged.
"To address terrorism "— and address it we must!," he said, "we must recognize the parallel horror of the culture of religious hatred that permeates many Palestinian quarters. From schools that indoctrinate toddlers to grow up to kill Israelis to the daily menu of hate that spews forth from various 'news organizations,' change is long overdue in the Palestinian territories."
"Let us begin the arduous task of creating a future where peace can take root and terror finds no refuge," he added.