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Press Release – 19 August 2011

Zionist Council of Victoria statement on terror in southern Israel

Zionist Council of Victoria president Sam Tatarka has expressed sorrow and outrage at the 8 Israelis killed and more than 40 wounded by terrorists in 4 coordinated attacks in southern Israel on Thursday. Mr Tatarka said that the Jewish and Zionist community stand in solidarity with the people and government of Israel at this difficult time as Israel once again deals with the grief and heartbreak of identifying and burying the victims of fanatical Islamist terror.

 “Israelis including families and children travelling to and from the holiday destination of Eilat were attacked with guns, roadside bombs and anti-tank missiles on an open road.  Soldiers and police responding to the incidents were also attacked.  8 people are now dead and many more injured some seriously. As a community, we abhor and oppose terrorism and terrorists.  We convey our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed and injured and offer them our prayers and support.  The names of all of the victims have not been released however it is known that St-Sgt Moshe Naftali, 22, of Ofra, a combat soldier from the Golani Brigade and Senior police officer Paskal Avrahami, 49 of Jerusalem, a father of three and member of Israel’s counter-terrorism unit were both killed in the aftermath of the attacks” Mr Tatarka said.

“The fact that the Hamas regime which rules the Gaza Strip and recently resumed relations with the Palestinian Authority, has praised the attack and welcomed the deaths of Israeli civilians is not surprising, given that Hamas and its splinter groups continue to fire rockets, missiles and mortars on Israel’s southern communities of Sderot, Beer Sheva and Ashkelon on a daily basis.  Instability in bordering Egypt has allowed the Sinai Peninsula to become a breeding ground for terror groups whose access to Israel is now easier thus enabling deadly attacks such as those we saw yesterday” Tatarka said.

“As reports of the Palestinian Authority seeking UN endorsement of a State on September 20 intensify, the international community must reflect on the very real risk of extremism and violence that a future Palestinian state might bring.  Israel cannot and should not be expected to accept a terror state on its doorstep. Clearly Israeli lives are at risk” Mr Tatarka said.




For more information contact:
Jane Rapke – Executive Director, Zionist Council of Victoria 9272 5544
Elly Shalev – Public Affairs, Zionist Council of Victoria 9272 5519, 0400 313 197
The Zionist Council of Victoria leads and encourages Jewish and Zionist activity and expression within Victoria, to represent the Jewish community, to promote and communicate Israel’s interests within the broader Victorian community and to promote Victoria’s relationship with Israel. For more information, visit the Zionist Council of Victoria website