Sunday, 25 Feb 2018 - 10 of Adar, 5778
USA

Las Vegas mass shooting: all Israelis have been accounted for

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WASHINGTON (EJP)—The Israeli foreign ministry said that all Israelis in Las Vegas have been accounted for and that none were injured in the mass shooting.

“Thanks to the good work of the foreign ministry’s situation room of our Consulate in Los Angeles, we succeeded in reaching  all Israelis that were in Las Vegas. As of now, we do know not of any Israeli who fell victim to this attack,” the ministry's spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon told The Times of Israel.

 Avner Saban, Israel’s consul in Los Angeles, had traveled to Las Vegas to aid in efforts to locate the missing Israelis. He told Army Radio he was assisted by the consulate’s security officer and the local anti-terror unit.

He said 18 Israelis were initially unaccounted for following the shooting, in which gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on a country music concert from inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, killing 59 and wounding hundreds more. Police said the man had no known ties to terrorism. Initial reports claimed Paddock was a recent convert to Islam.

Terror group Islamic State claimed responsibility for the shooting. 

“Israel is shocked at the mass murder that happened in Las Vegas. I am full of hope that contact with the incommunicado Israelis in Las Vegas will be renewed quickly,” Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said.

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin sent a message to US President Donald Trump offering his condolences over the shooting.

“The people of Israel join me in sending our deepest sympathy to you, to the participants in the festival, the people of Las Vegas and to all the people of the United States following this shocking attack which took the lives of so many innocent people and injured so very many more,” he wrote, according to his office. “We stand with you as you mourn the terrible loss of life and injury following this senseless attack on people who had merely gathered together to listen to music.”

World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder decried the “senseless” violence in Las Vegas today that left at least 58 dead and more than 500 injured at a country music festival.

“I am deeply saddened by this senseless attack, the deadliest shooting in our nation’s history,” said Lauder. “It is simply unconscionable that people anywhere going to enjoy a concert with family or friends should have to be in fear for their very lives. On behalf of world Jewry, I condemn this horrific criminal act. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families, and to all those who were wounded.”

Lauder also condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Marseille, France, and Edmonton, Canada. “We are horrified by the continued attacks on innocent civilians that threaten the fibre of our society,” Lauder said. “We extend our most heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims in Marseille, and wish the victims of the attack in Edmonton a speedy and full recovery.”

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said, “This is a tragic day for America, and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. While we are still learning details and do not know the impetus for the killings, one thing is clear: the threat of mass violence against innocent civilians in America has not abated. This threat must be taken seriously.”

“Unfortunately, all too many times we have witnessed the tragic dangers guns in the hands of determined killers or domestic extremists present,” Greenblatt continued. “Across the country in schools, businesses and houses of worship, individuals have used guns to terrorize communities and local institutions. We remember Orlando, Charleston and Newtown and other mass shootings. Just last week, a gunman opened fire at individuals attending church in Tennessee. We firmly believe that one way to limit the power of extremists and reduce violence in our communities is to enact tough, effective gun violence prevention measures.”

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