The man suspected of carrying out a fatal knife attack kept shouting “Allahu Akbar.”
By REUTERS- https://www.jpost.com- SARAH CHEMLA
The attacker was confirmed by French police to have been a 21-year-old Tunisian national, who entered the country via Italy. However, further details regarding his identity remain unclear.
Je suis sur place avec la @PoliceNat06 et la @pmdenice qui a interpellé l’auteur de l’attaque. Je confirme que tout laisse supposer à un attentat terroriste au sein de la basilique Notre-Dame de #Nice06. pic.twitter.com/VmpDqRwzB1
— Christian Estrosi (@cestrosi) October 29, 2020
The president later said he would be stepping up the deployment of soldiers to protect key French sites, such as places of worship and schools.
French Assemblyman Meyer Habib reacted to the attack on Twitter, saying that, “even during a state of emergency in France because of the coronavirus, coward islamists are slaughtering and beheading women in a church in the French city of Nice, “they are corrupting France’s face. We’re at war!”
Alors que la est en état d’urgence sanitaire, ces lâches islamistes égorgent et décapitent une femme à #Nice dans #NotreDameCathedral ! Ils défigurent la ! Nous sommes en guerre! Ça suffit ! Notre réaction doit être disproportionnée avec ces sauvages !!
— Meyer Habib (@Meyer_Habib) October 29, 2020
Following the horrific murder that took place in Nice, Netanya Mayor Miriam Feierberg – which is Nice’s twin city – spoke with Estrosi, and expressed her pain and condolences on behalf of the city of Netanya over the stabbing attack that took place this morning.
“Violence and hatred are a modern epidemic that must be stopped,” President Reuven Rivlin wrote on his Twitter account following the attack in France.
He added that “our hearts go out to families of victims of the heinous terrorist attack on a church in France, and we send a speedy recovery to the wounded. Terrorism, violence and hatred are a modern epidemic in our world that must be stopped.”
Our hearts are with the families of the victims of today’s despicable terror attack in a church in France and our prayers for the recovery of those injured.
Terrorism, violence and hatred are modern plagues that blight our world.
Notre coeur est avec la France.
— Reuven Rivlin (@PresidentRuvi) October 29, 2020
“All civilized peoples must stand in full solidarity with France against the scourge of terrorism. There can be no justification or equivocation.”
Moscow’s Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, has also issued the statement following the terrifying attacks. “I am horrified by the barbaric attack in Nice this morning,” he said, adding that “Europe’s Jews pray for the victims and their families, and for the recovery of those injured.”
“Once again, murder has been committed in the name of religion and this appears to be the second similar incident in a matter of days. It is imperative that religious and communal figures make it clear that murder is abhorred by religion and such attacks stand in total contradiction to Islam’s explicit recognition of tolerance and compassion.”
The European Jewish Congress later released a statement expressing “shock and outrage” at the terror attacks in both Nice and Avignon.
“We are utterly shocked at the barbarity and sheer evil in these attacks on French citizens and on the French Republic,” EJC president Dr. Moshe Kantor said.
“These acts, coming so soon after the horrific beheading of a schoolteacher last week and clearly motivated by the same religious extremism, do not exist in a vacuum. Attacks on basic rights to freedom of speech and expression and the tolerance shown to Islamist extremism provides moral support for these acts of terrorism.
“The European Jewish Congress calls upon all European governments to take urgent and radical action to protect all citizens from this new but clearly well-established wave of Islamist terror, which attacks us physically in the streets while simultaneously attempting to undermine our core and collective values of tolerance and freedom of expression.
“As our communities have felt the results of such acts in recent years, Europe’s Jewish communities stand in solidarity with President Macron and the people of France and send our deep condolences to the families of the victims. Our thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery for those injured in this terror attack.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson took to social media, explaining the country stood steadfast with France.
“I am appalled to hear the news from Nice this morning of a barbaric attack at the Notre-Dame Basilica,” Johnson said on Twitter in both English and French.
“Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, and the UK stands steadfastly with France against terror and intolerance.”
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told the French people “you are not alone,” taking to social media to share a message of solidarity.
In a French message posted on Twitter he said: “We say to the French people: In the fight against extremism you are not alone. The Netherlands stands beside you.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also came out to condemn the knife attack.
Calling it an “odious and brutal attack,” von der Leyen said the whole of Europe stood in solidarity with France and remained united and determined “in the face of barbarism and fanaticism.”
The Turkish Foreign Ministry also condemned the attack, and said that Turkey stood in solidarity with the French people against violence and terrorism.
Condemnations were also shared by Saudi Arabia.
“The kingdom categorically rejects such extremist acts, which contravene all religions…, while stressing the importance of avoiding all practices which generate hatred, violence and extremism,” said the statement published by the state news agency SPA.
The attack comes while France is still reeling from the beheading earlier this month of middle school teacher Paty by a man of Chechen origin.