peres - Haaretz - July 6 2011
President Shimon Peres Photo by Haaretz
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President Shimon Peres telephoned Norwegian King Harald V on Sunday and expressed Israel's condolences for the massacre in Norway Friday, in which 92 people were killed.

"Your country is a symbol of peace and freedom. We in Israel followed what was going on in Norway over the weekend and the harm to innocents broke our hearts," Peres told the king, according to his office.

"This is a tragedy that hurts and touches every human being," he added.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry statement earlier expressed "shock at the revolting terror attacks in Oslo," offering assistance if needed.

"Nothing at all can justify such wanton violence, and we condemn this brutal action with the utmost gravity," it said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also commented on the Norway massacre on Sunday, saying Israel "completely identifies" with the disaster.

"[We] declare our deepest shock over this crime," Netanyahu said during a cabinet meeting on Sunday. "We have experienced it from other directions and we know the families' and the nation's agony. Therefore, I again send the condolences of the state, government and people of Israel to the Norwegian people, state and government."

Norwegian right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, 32, is believed to be responsible for two separate terror attacks that occurred in Norway on Friday.

After seven people were killed in a car bomb blast at a government building in Oslo, Breivik allegedly went to the island of Utoya, where he opened fire on a gathering of young people at a Labor party summer camp, killing at least 85 people. Four or five people remain missing.

The gunman was shooting at people for an hour and a half before surrendering to a SWAT team, which arrived 40 minutes after they were called, police said. The gunman was armed with a pistol and an automatic weapon, said Sponheim.

Police have said that they have charged Breivik under Norway's terror law. He will be arraigned on Monday when a court decides whether police can continue to hold him as the investigation continues.