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Israel Condemns US Terror Attacks - 2001-09-12

Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has pledged Israeli help to track down those responsible for the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Israeli security is on high alert.

Israeli Prime Minster Ariel Sharon has offered his condolences and his support for the U.S. fight against terrorism.

"The fight against terror is an international struggle of the free world against the forces of darkness who seek to destroy our liberty and our way of life," he said. "I believe that together we can defeat these forces of evil."

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres says there is no time to waste in tracking down those responsible for the attacks in New York and Washington.

"We have to put an end to terror because it's a danger to every person and every country no matter where it is," insisted Mr. Peres.

In the aftermath of Tuesday's tragedy, Israelis are lining up to donate blood for U.S. relief efforts. Flags across Israel are flying at half-staff and relatives of terror victims in Israel will hold a solidarity rally in the late afternoon.

Israeli newspaper editorials echoed the world's shock and horror. The daily Ma'ariv says simply, "human history will never be the same. ... The apocalypse," it says, "suddenly seemed more tangible than ever."

Israel, itself, has increased security in and around its borders. The Palestinian territories have been sealed off. There is no traffic in or out of the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who has condemned the terrorist attacks, has had to postpone travel to Syria. Israel has closed its borders and its airspace to all traffic.

Some Palestinians have celebrated the terrorist operations but Palestinian leaders have condemned the attacks. Many Palestinians also express fear they will pay the price and so will efforts to secure peace in the Middle East.

Israeli tanks are still surrounding the West Bank town of Jenin, which Israel has described as a terror center where suicide bombers have been trained and dispatched into Israel. Suicide bombers set off explosions last week in Jerusalem, Nahariya and a highway intersection near Netanya.