Israel, Palestine condemn Pulwama attack, express condolences
Jerusalem/Ramallah, Feb 17: Israel and Palestine have both condemned the "abhorrent" and "heinous" Pulwama terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir and expressed their condolences.
Forty CRPF soldiers were killed and five others critically injured when a suicide bomber rammed a vehicle laden with explosives into their bus on Thursday.
The Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) has claimed responsibility for the attack on the convoy of 78 vehicles that was on its way from Jammu to Srinagar.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in his messages to President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Palestinians are "saddened by the tragic attack... and on this painful occasion, they express condemnation of this terrorist attack".
"On this painful occasion, we condemn this abhorrent act and we offer condolences to you, your people, your government and the families of the victims. We express our alliance and solidarity with you and your people. May god have mercy on the victims and their families," Abbas wrote in his letter to Modi.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed solidarity with his Indian counterpart Modi, saying the Jewish nation stood behind India after the "heinous" terror attack.
"To my dear friend, Prime Minister of India @narendramodi, we stand with you, the security forces and the people of India following this heinous terrorist attack.
"We send our condolences to the families of the victims," the Israeli Prime Minister said in a tweet.
Netanyahu, who was scheduled to meet Modi on February 11 but postponed due to other international engagements, is still looking for a convenient date to travel to New Delhi before April 9 elections in Israel.
Meanwhile, people from the Indian community in Israel took out a candle light march on Saturday and stood in silence for two minutes to honour the Indian soldiers.
"Our tolerance has been interpreted as a sign of weakness. We should learn from the Israelis and teach the perpetrators of this heinous crime a strong lesson," Ravi Soma, President of Israel-Telengana Association, said.
"Indians living in Israel are quite agitated and demand our government to punish Pakistan's ISI and its terror groups," Soma said.
Some 40 Indians from Telengana, most of them working in Israel as caregivers, gathered in Ramat Gan near Tel Aviv and held a prayer meeting followed by a candle march waving Indian national flag.