Israeli Foreign Minister Commends Jordan for Executing Iraqi Terrorists

Lieberman offers condolences to Jordan for the murder of a pilot by ISIS, says world should follow kingdom's example when responding to terror.


Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman conveyed his condolences to Jordan and its citizens for the "barbaric" murder of a Jordanian pilot at the hands of Islamic State militants.

"The citizens of Israel, who for 66 years have been coping with various kinds of merciless terror, empathize with their pain and support Jordan's harsh and firm response to the incident," Lieberman said in a statement.

Jordan hanged two Iraqi jihadists on Wednesday, including a female militant, in response to an Islamic State video appearing to show the captured Jordanian pilot, Muath al-Kasaesbeh, being burnt alive by the hardline group.

Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, had demanded the release of the woman, Sajida al-Rishawi, in exchange for a Japanese hostage who was later killed. Sentenced to death in 2005 for her a role in a suicide bomb attack in Amman, Rishawi was executed at dawn, a security source and state television said.

Jordan, which is part of the U.S.-led alliance against Islamic State, has promised an "earth-shaking response" to the killing of its pilot, who was captured in December when his F-16 crashed over northeastern Syria.

Lieberman commended King Abdullah for "for his powerful actions against the heinous terror," noting that Jordan is preparing to "execute additional terrorists who are detained in the kingdom."

He further called on world leaders to follow Jordan's example when fighting terror, especially against the Islamic State, "because it is impossible to beat terror with words and declarations."

"The world needs strong leaders who are committed to eliminating Islamic terror, including Daesh, Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaida, and others," said the minister, using the pejorative Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

The fate of Kasaesbeh, the pilot, a member of a large tribe that forms the backbone of support for the country's Hashemite monarchy, has gripped Jordan for weeks and some Jordanians have criticized King Abdullah for embroiling them in the U.S.-led war that they say will provoke a militant backlash.

The Jordanian army has vowed to avenge his death, and some analysts believe it could escalate its involvement in the campaign against Islamic State, which has seized large areas of Iraq and Syria, Jordan's neighbors to the north and east. 

Reuters contributed to this report.