Netanyahu: Steven Sotloff Was Murdered Because He Symbolized the West

'Radical Islam views Israel, the U.S. and the Free World as partners in democracy and liberalism – values he aims to eradicate from the world,' the Israeli Prime Minister said.

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Barak Ravid
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In this handout image made available by the photographer Steven Sotloff (Center with black helmet) talks to Libyan rebels on Al Dafniya front line in June 2011.
In this handout image made available by the photographer Steven Sotloff (Center with black helmet) talks to Libyan rebels on Al Dafniya front line in June 2011.Credit: Getty Images
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent his condolences Thursday evening to the family of Jewish-American journalist Steven Sotloff, who was murdered by the Islamic State several days ago. Sotloff was also an Israeli citizen.

"Steven was murdered because for these murderous terrorists he symbolized the West – the civilization that radical Islam seeks to annihilate," Netanyahu said. "Radical Islam views Israel, the U.S. and the Free World as partners in democracy and liberalism – values he aims to eradicate from the world."

Netanyahu added that "many in the world now understand better than before that the threats against Israel are the same threats against them, and that those who don't stop these threats now will eventually find them on their doorstep."

Sotloff was kidnapped in Aleppo, Syria, in August 2013. He wasn't heard from for a year – until last month, when the Islamic State group released a video of its beheading of the journalist James Foley. It ended the message with images of Sotloff also held captive by the group. IS warned that Sotloff would be the group's next victim, depending on how U.S. President Barack Obama responded.

On Wednesday a video of his beheading was released by the terrorist organization.

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