Israeli leaders strongly condemned Friday’s terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which at least 49 were killed.
“Israel mourns the wanton murder of innocent worshipers in Christchurch and condemns the brazen act of terror in New Zealand. Israel sends its condolences to the bereaved families and its heartfelt wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Twitter.
President Reuven Rivlin also condemned the attacks.
The “murder of people at prayer, in their most holy and sacred place, is a depraved and despicable act. For people of all religions and of none, a redline has been crossed,” he said.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon also expressed his solidarity with the victims on Twitter.
“Our thoughts are with the families of the victims of the terrible shooting against mosques in #Christchurch,” he wrote. “We express full solidarity with #NewZealand and its people. We should never let hatred, violence and terror win.”
Western leaders expressed solidarity with New Zealanders, deploring what the White House called a “vicious act of hate.”
The response from some Muslim countries went further, blaming politicians and the media for stoking that hatred. The nationalities of the victims included Indian, Pakistani, Malaysian, Indonesian, Egyptian, Bangladeshi, Saudi, Somalian and Turkish, authorities said.
New Zealand police said 49 people were killed and 42 were being treated for wounds, including a four-year-old. Three people were in custody, including one man who has been charged with murder, police said.
“I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11 [where] 1.3 billion Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror,” Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote on social media.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the attack was a result of Muslims being demonized. “Not only the perpetrators, but also politicians & media that fuel the already escalated Islamophobia and hate in the West are equally responsible for this heinous attack,” he tweeted.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reiterated “the urgency of working better together globally to counter Islamophobia and eliminate intolerance and violent extremism in all its forms,” a spokesman said.
Hundreds of protesters in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, chanted “Allahu akhbar!” after Friday prayers.
“We will not let the blood of Muslims go in vain,” said one protester. Members of the Bangladesh national cricket team, in Christchurch for a match against New Zealand, arrived for Friday prayers as the shooting started but were not hurt.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said some of the victims may have been new immigrants or refugees.
“They are us,” she said. “The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. They have no place in New Zealand.”
Trump, following a phone call with Ardern, said on Twitter: “I informed the Prime Minister... that we stand in solidarity with New Zealand – and that any assistance the U.S.A. can give, we stand by ready to help. We love you New Zealand!”