Tel Aviv city hall is lit up with a rainbow flag as an act of solidarity after 49 people were killed in a June 12, 2016 shooting at a gay club in Orlando, Florida
“They did nothing wrong. They were dancing with friends, they were enjoying music with loved ones,” he said of the victims in the attack.
“Why did the terrorist murder them? Because he was driven by a fanatical hatred. He target the LGBT community because he believed they were evil.”
In the clip, which echoed a speech he made to foreign diplomats a day earlier, the premier said the attack was not an isolated incident, naming homophobic practices carried out by Islamic terrorist groups and countries across the Middle East.
“The murderer wasn’t alone. Regime and terrorist organizations around the world ruthlessly persecute the LGBT community,” he said. “In Syria ISIS throws gays off rooftops, in Iran the regime hangs gays from cranes. Too many people have remained silent in the face of this awful persecution.”
Netanyahu also described the attack as “radical Islamic terror,” saying it “makes no distinction between shades of infidel,” and drawing a parallel between the Orlando shooting and last week’s terror attack in Tel Aviv which left four people dead.
“This week it was gays in Orlando, a few days before that it was Jews in Tel Aviv, before that it was music fans in Paris, travelers in Brussels, Yazidis in Iraq, community workers in San Bernadino, Christians and journalists in Syria,” he said.
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On Tuesday Netanyahu made similar statements to a gathering of about a dozen ambassadors from North Atlantic Treaty Organization member states. Last month, NATO invited Israel to open an official mission at its Brussels headquarters.
“I want to inform you that we’re in the process of opening the office as soon as possible. We attach great importance to that,” the prime minister said, pledging to help NATO defeat the Islamic State by sharing intelligence and counter-terrorism know-how.
Netanyahu reaches out to Orlando victims in video
PM draws parallel to attacks in Israel and across Middle East, says Islamic terror driven by ‘fanatical hatred’
BY RAOUL WOOTLIFF