New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani on Sunday visited scenes of Palestinian suicide bombings in Jerusalem to show solidarity with Israelis and said the United States stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel against terrorism.
"The people of Jerusalem and the people of New York City are shoulder-to-shoulder, and the people of America and the people of Israel are shoulder-to-shoulder in the fight against terrorism," Giuliani told reporters.
Israelis cheered as Giuliani walked through a pedestrian mall where suicide bombers last struck on December 1, killing 11 people. He stopped outside a nearby Sbarro pizzeria where a bomber killed 16 people in August.
"We feel a great kinship with the people of Israel. We always have and I think since September 11 and what's happened here in Israel we're even closer," he said, referring to the suicide-hijacking attacks in New York and Washington.
New York City Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg and New York state Governor George Pataki accompanied Giuliani on the visit. Jerusalem mayor Ehud Olmert renamed Jerusalem's ancient Jaffa Road, just outside the pizzeria, as "New York Street" in solidarity with the U.S. city shortly after the attacks which toppled the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
The New York delegation also stopped at Cafe Rimon, the site of the December 1 double suicide bombing which killed mainly teenagers out on the town on a Saturday night, and at an improvised memorial draped with flowers and a prayer shawl.
While Giuliani visited Gilo, a Jewish neighborhood often the target of Palestinian gunfire, Bloomberg and Pataki went to Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, to visit Joseph Leiser, 29, from Boro Park, New York, who was wounded in the Jerusalem bombing on December 1.
Bloomberg invited Leiser and his wife to attend his inauguration in New York on January 1. Leiser, a travel agent who was hit by metal bolts in both legs, said, "the visit gives us a great leap of courage and inspiration." He added, "I just want to get out of here and get on with life."
Earlier, the New York leaders visited the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.
The tour followed a visit by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to the wreckage of the World Trade Center on November 30. Giuliani won over Israelis in 1996 during a previous solidarity mission when he rode a Jerusalem bus line struck that year by Islamic militant suicide bombers.
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