Israel offers condolences for victims of Egypt church attacks

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel offered condolences to the families of the victims of two bombing attacks on churches in Egypt and called for a worldwide fight against terrorism.

The attacks on Palm Sunday, a week before the Coptic observance of Easter, left nearly 40 people dead and dozens injured. Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Egypt later this month. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks.

“Israel sends condolences to the families of those murdered in the attack in Egypt and wishes for recovery for the injured,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. “The world must unite and fight terrorism everywhere.”

At least 25 people were killed and 60 injured in a bombing at the Coptic church in Tanta, located north of Cairo. Hours later, a suicide bomber killed at least 11 people and injured 25 in front of a church in Alexandria, according to reports.

Following the first attack, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said in a statement, “Terror doesn’t stop in Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Berlin, London or Jerusalem. Today’s terror attack near Cairo reminds us that Egypt too is under attack. Alongside the sorrow and grief, we need to join forces against the forces of evil and terror with an iron fist. Israel is part of the international campaign against terror wherever it strikes and is ready to assist in order to rein it in.”

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