Netanyahu to All European Jews: Israel Is Your Home

Netanyahu to All European Jews: Israel Is Your HomeNetanyahu to All European Jews: Israel Is Your Home

Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited Jews from France and the rest of Europe to immigrate to the state of Israel, referring to what he sees as a “rising tide of anti-Semitism”, while adding that “Israel is their home.”

“To all the Jews of France, all the Jews of Europe, I would like to say that Israel is not just the place in whose direction you pray, the state of Israel is your home,” he said in a televised statement, referring to the Jewish practice of facing Jerusalem during prayer, AP reported.

“Unless the world comes to its senses, terror will continue to strike in other places,” he added in remarks on his official Twitter account.

Netanyahu’s comments came after four people were killed inside a kosher supermarket in Paris. He said every Jew who wanted to move to Israel would be “welcomed with a warm heart and open arms.”

He also called on lawmakers to alter the existing immigration laws to make it easier for Jews to permanently move to Israel.

Media said he had ordered a ministerial committee to convene next week to discuss ways to encourage immigration of French and other European Jews to Israel. Netanyahu also asked French President Francois Hollande to maintain heightened security at Jewish institutions.

Israel foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman Lieberman met Saturday evening with Israeli ministry and security officials to discuss repercussions of the attacks.

“The meeting discussed strengthening ties with the heads of the Jewish community in France and the security of the various institutions of the Jewish community there,” ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said in a statement.

  Suspect Trace

A woman hunted by French police as a suspect in the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the Jewish supermarket in Paris left France several days before the killings and is believed to be in Syria, Turkish and French sources said.

After killing the gunmen behind the worst assault in France for decades, French police launched in an intensive search for Hayat Boumeddiene, the 26-year-old accomplice of one of the attackers, Amedy Coulibaly, describing her as “armed and dangerous.”

But a source familiar with the situation said that Boumeddiene left France last week and traveled to Syria via Turkey. A senior Turkish official corroborated that account, saying she passed through Istanbul on January 2.

A senior Turkish security official said Paris and Ankara were now cooperating in trying to trace her, but said she arrived in Istanbul without any warning from France.

“After they informed us about her ... we identified her mobile phone signal on Jan 8. We think she is in Syriaat the moment but we do not have any evidence about that ... She is most probably not in Turkey,” the source said, adding the last signal from her phone was detected on Thursday.

French security forces shot dead the two brothers behind the Hebdo killings after they took refuge in the print works. They also killed Boumeddiene’s partner who planted explosives at the Paris deli in a siege that claimed the lives of four hostages.

On Saturday, police maintained a heavy presence around the French capital, with patrols at sensitive sites including media offices, and local vigils were held across France.

  Massive Rally

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets across France in response to three days of mayhem, as terrorist attacks rocked its capital resulting in the deaths of some 20 people – 17 victims, and three gunmen.

In total, 700,000 marched across France, Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, told reporters. Some 30,000 turned up in Pau, southwest France, while a further 20,000 took to the streets in Orleans to pay respects to the dead.

In Marseille, 45,000 people expressed similar sentiments with a rally banner that said “For democracy, equality, freedom, let’s fight fascism”.

Up to 20,000 also marched across the northwestern town of Saint-Nazaire. More rallies were held in Nice and Caen. Outside France, thousands of people rallied in Milan, holding banners reading “Je Suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) as a sign of solidarity with the victims of the deadly assaults.