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Israel Warns of Escalating Terror After Mail-Bomb Plot

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the weekly cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office, 24 Oct 2010

The failed attempt by terrorists to smuggle mail bombs into the United States is raising concern in Israel.

The mail-bomb plot topped the agenda at Israel's weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said even though the bombs found on airplanes were addressed to two synagogues in Chicago, this was not an attack on Jews, but on Western civilization. He compared the plot to previous attacks attributed to al-Qaida, including the train bombings in Madrid, the assault on Mumbai and the nightclub bombing in Bali.

Mr. Netanyahu said the world is facing a growing wave of terrorism from radical Islamic groups with improving weapons capabilities.

The prime minister said he will discuss ways the civilized world can confront the terror threat when he addresses a conference of Jewish leaders next week in the United States.

During the visit, Mr. Netanyahu also plans to meet with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to discuss reviving the Middle East peace process. The Palestinians suspended peace talks a month ago, after Israel ended a moratorium on settlement construction. The United States is trying to mediate a compromise that will bring the parties back to the negotiating table.