Netanyahu tells Obama: Bin Laden's death shows U.S. determined to fight terror
Israeli PM calls U.S. president to congratulate him on assassination of al-Qaida leader, after earlier deeming operation a 'resounding victory for justice'.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called U.S. President Barak Obama on Monday to congratulate him on the assassination of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden the day before.
The American operation that wiped out the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001 attacks "sent a message of the United States' determination to fight terrorism", said a statement from Netanyahu's office. It added that "Obama thanked Netanyahu [for his support] and clarified the United States' commitment to the war on terror."
Netanyahu declared earlier Monday that Israel shared the "joy of the American people", calling the U.S. operation a "resounding victory for justice, freedom, and the values shared by all democratic countries fighting shoulder to shoulder against terror."
Israeli officials lauded announcement of the assassination, after Obama issued a statement just before midnight on Sunday, Washington time, saying that al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is dead and his body has been recovered from Islamabad, Pakistan by U.S. authorities.
The U.S. president said that "justice has been made" in his heartfelt address Sunday, commemorating the nearly 3000 people that were killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington orchestrated by the al-Qaida leader.
President Shimon Peres also referred to Monday's announcement, saying "bin Laden was of the great murderers and was destined to be hanged."
"This is a great achievement for the American security establishment, a great achievement for the U.S. president, this is a great achievement to the free world," Peres said.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak called the assassination "an important achievement for the U.S. in the struggle against global terror".
"The U.S. showed determination and courage in the operation," Barak said. "We have once again been convinced that the struggle against terror is shared by the leading democracies of the world and will be resolved with cooperative and multi-armed efforts."
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni also lauded the operation as "changing the equation in the fight against terror carried out by the free world under U.S. leadership" as well as "proof that the continued and uncompromising struggle against terror is succeeding."
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel, which has cast its own struggle with Palestinian and Lebanese militants as an extension of the U.S.-led campaign against al-Qaida worldwide, gained from bin Laden's death.
"Al-Qaida has ceaselessly tried to penetrate Gaza and Judea and Samaria [West Bank]," he told Israel's Army Radio, referring to the Palestinian territories. "His interception has operational significance for us, too."
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