Scene of the Strasbourg attack. (AP) (AP)
Strasbourg attack

“Our condolences to those who lost their loved ones in the attack,” Israel’s foreign ministry stated after a deadly shooting in Strasbourg by an Islamic terrorist.

By: United with Israel Staff and AP

Israel conveyed its condolences to France and, in particular, to the residents of Strasbourg after an Islamic terrorist fired at a crowd attending a Christmas fare on Tuesday night, killing two people and wounding 13 others. Eight are in critical condition and one person is brain dead.

“Our condolences to those who lost their loved ones in the attack,” Israel’s foreign ministry stated Wednesday.

Israel’s envoy to France Aliza Bin-Noun stated she was “very saddened” by the attack, “which engulfed the whole country during this holiday season.”

“On behalf of the State of Israel, I extend my deepest condolences to the families of the victims and all my support and solidarity to the people of Strasbourg,” she stated.

French authorities detained five people as they hunted Wednesday for a suspected terrorist who sprayed gunfire at one of Europe’s most famous Christmas markets in the eastern city of Strasbourg, home to the European Parliament and considered a capital of Europe.

The government raised the security alert level and sent police reinforcements to Strasbourg, where some 350 forces are searching for the terrorist. Police officials said he was wounded in a gunfight with soldiers after the Tuesday night attack but escaped, and a top official said he might have escaped to neighboring Germany.

France on Edge

The terrorist, 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt, had a police record in France and Germany and was flagged for Islamic extremism, police said.

Another possible reason for the attack is that police tried and failed to arrest him earlier Tuesday for attempted murder, Laurent Nunez, secretary of state for the Interior Ministry, said. The suspect had been identified as radicalized during past stays in prison, Nunez added.

The attack is a new blow to France, after a wave of Islamic killings in 2015 and 2016 and amid a month of protests against President Emmanuel Macron that have blocked roads around the country, led to rioting in the capital and put a heavy strain on police.

While authorities urged people in the area to remain indoors after Tuesday’s attack, Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries told BFM television Wednesday that “life must go on” so that the city doesn’t cede to a “terrorist who is trying to disrupt our way of life.”

Strasbourg promotes itself as the “Capital of Christmas,” and the market set up around the local cathedral is a holiday tradition. It was the target of an al-Qaida-linked plot at the turn of the millennium.

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