Netanyahu on Istanbul attack: No proof Israelis were targeted

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has released a statement about today's (Saturday) attack in Istanbul, in which three Israelis were killed and another 11 wounded.

Speaking from the Foreign Ministry's situation room, Netanyahu said, "I offer my condolences to the families of the dead" and promised that Israel is doing all it can in order to return the wounded casualties to Israel.

He added that intelligence officials are currently investigating whether the attackers purposely targeted Israelis, though he said there is no confirmation of such a possibility. "There is information that a member of ISIS carried out the attack and we are checking it," he noted.

He added that he has not spoken with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan but is aware of the disturbing tweet by a member of Erdoğan's party. "I demanded that the tweet be removed and it was removed."

In response to reporters' questions, Netanyahu said that the counter-terrorism bureau will increase its travel warning for Turkey tomorrow.

President Reuven Rivlin also commented on the attack, saying: "The heart aches for the victims who lost their lives in the horrific terrorist bombing in the heart of Istanbul. We send our condolences to the families in mourning, pray for the well-being of the injured and hope for their swift return to Israel.

"More and more innocent people are losing their lives in the shadow of the insatiable terrorism and extremism which plagues the world.

"May the hands of the search and rescue teams be strengthened, along with the representatives of the Foreign Ministry in Israel and in Turkey, in their efforts to bring relief and information to the worried families."


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