There must be a unanimous call from all religious leaders to prevent similar attacks at holy sites.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

Israel today (Wednesday, 8 March 2006) condemned in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attacks that took place Tuesday in India’s holy city of Varanasi. These heinous attacks were carried out with the clear intention of offending religious sensibilities among pilgrims in one of the most sacred sites in India.

It is up to all of us in the international community to fight terrorism in any and all forms. Israel’s special sensitivity to holy sites is well known in this regard. We believe that there must be a unanimous call from all religious leaders that emphasizes the universal nature of religious sites, in the hope of preventing similar attacks in the future.

Our thoughts are with the victims and their families and with the people of India.