World officials, Jewish leaders in shock following Vienna terror attack

Leaders have strongly condemned the shooting.

Gunfire exchanges in Vienna (photo credit: REUTERS)
Gunfire exchanges in Vienna
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined world leaders on Tuesday in condemning the terrorist attack in which four people were killed in Vienna on Monday evening.
Condolences poured in from around the world, with top officials from Israel, the European Union, France, Norway, Greece and the United States expressing their shock at the attack. Leaders have strongly condemned the shooting.
Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin condemned the attack on Twitter on Tuesday morning.

"Israel condemns the brutal attack in Vienna and stands in total solidarity with Austria," tweeted the Prime Minister's Office. "Civilized peoples everywhere must unite to defeat the savagery of resurgent Islamist terrorism."
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Austria as we follow last night's despicable terrorist attack in Vienna with concern," tweeted Rivlin on Tuesday morning.
France's President Emmanuel Macron, which has seen two deadly knife attacks in Paris and Nice in recent weeks, issued a statement expressing shock and sorrow.
"This is our Europe," he said. "Our enemies must know with whom they are dealing. We will not retreat."
US President Donald Trump said in a tweet that "our prayers are with the people of Vienna after yet another vile act of terrorism in Europe."
 
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed that "the thoughts of Great Britain are with the people of Austria - we stand united with you against terror."
 
Robert O'Brien, Trump's national security adviser, said Americans were praying for the people of Vienna.
"There is no justification for hatred and violence like this. We stand with Austria, France, and all of Europe in the fight against terrorism,” O'Brien said.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden condemned what he called a "horrific terrorist attack," adding, "We must all stand united against hate and violence."
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that "today’s shooting in Vienna is horrific and heartbreaking," condemning "in the strongest terms possible this act of terrorism. Our thoughts are with the people of Austria and everyone affected by this deplorable act."

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven "strongly condemned the terrorist attacks in Vienna tonight, one of them close to a synagogue."
He added, "my thoughts are with the victims and their families. We must all stand united against attacks on our open society."

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte also strongly condemned the terrorist attack, stressing that "there must be no place for hatred and violence in our common European house."

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez stressed that "hate will not bend our societies. Europe will stand firm against terrorism."

Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vice President of the EU Commission, reacted to the attack and said, "I am shocked and moved by the terrible news about tonight’s attacks in Vienna. A cowardly act of violence and hate. My thoughts go to the victims and their families and the citizens of #Vienna. We stand by your side."

Vienna's Archbishop reacted to the attacks saying that "whatever the background to the attack today, it must be clear that there is no justification for blind violence."
Israeli Minister of Immigration and Absorption Pnina Tamano-Shata reacted sorrowfully to the attack in Vienna: "The images from Austria are very difficult. Unfortunately, hatred and terrorism have once again raised their heads, reminding the whole world that the fight against terrorists and fundamentalists who sanctify death is common and incessant. It strengthens the residents of Austria, the Jewish community in Vienna and the Austrian security forces."
Several officials and community leaders responded to the shooting, condemning the attack, and calling on Viennese citizens to be careful and stay safe.
Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister told London's LBC radio he was living in the compound of the synagogue.
"Upon hearing shots, we looked down [from] the windows and saw the gunmen shooting at the guests of the various bars and pubs," he said. "The gunmen were running around and shooting at least 100 rounds or even more in front of our building."
Videos circulated on social media of a gunman running down a cobblestone street, shooting and shouting. 
Jewish community leader Oskar Deutsch said on Twitter that it was not clear whether the Vienna synagogue and adjoining offices had been the target of an attack, and said they were closed at the time.
Yaakov Hagoel, Chairman of the World Zionist Organization, issued a statement Monday saying, "I spoke recently with the Chief Rabbi of Vienna...it remains unclear if there were casualties from the Jewish community...we were required to close at this time all Jewish institutions, including synagogues and community buildings. We are of course hoping that there are no casualties at all. We will continue follow updates on the attack." 
Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre denounced the attack, saying that “the Centre regards Vienna as the home-base of its mentor, Simon Wiesenthal, who was there targeted several times including a bombing. We stand in solidarity with the families of the civilian victims and police casualties, with the Viennese Jewish community and with the current Austrian government as a true friend of Israel. We also commend the police force for their rapid response.”

The Conference of Presidents condemned the apparent terror attack in Vienna, denouncing the "attack that was carried out across multiple locations in Vienna, Austria this evening."
"We stand in solidarity with the Austrian people as this tragedy unfolds. The purveyors of terrorism are despicable and cowardly; their murderous attacks against unarmed civilians will never succeed in crushing the freedom and liberty that they abhor. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this act of terror. The perpetrators must be brought to justice."