One Israeli among 39 killed in Istanbul shooting attack

A 19-year-old Israeli was among 39 killed in a New Year’s Eve terror attack at a nightclub in Istanbul. Another Israeli was injured. 

A 19-year-old Israeli woman was one of 39 people killed in the New Year’s Eve shooting attack at the international Reina nightclub in Istanbul. The victim, Lian Zaher Nassar, was a resident of the Arab-Israeli town of Tira in central Israel and was originally reported missing.

The injured victim, also from Tira, sustained two gunshot wounds and remains in “good condition” following surgery, according to her father. 

Meanwhile, Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdağ said that at least 65 people were wounded in the attack, four of whom are in critical condition.

“Our police have launched the necessary operations,” said Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu. “God willing, he will be apprehended soon.”

Fifteen of the murdered victims were foreigners, he added.

Istanbul Governor Vasip Şahin said that the attacker, reportedly dressed in a Santa Claus costume, killed a police officer and a civilian at the entrance to the nightclub before gunning down scores of others.

In light of a number of terror attacks throughout Turkey last year, as many as 25,000 police officers were on duty throughout Istanbul on Saturday night as a precaution. Earlier on Saturday, eight people affiliated with the Islamic State were detained in the Turkish capital of Ankara on suspicion of planning an attack on New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined countless other foreign leaders in condemning the act of terror and wishing a speedy recovery to all the injured victims.

“The fight against terror is a global struggle,” Netanyahu stated at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. “Of course, this terror continues to strike.”

“We saw over the weekend, just yesterday, another deadly attack in Turkey,” he said. “We send condolences to the families of those who were murdered and best wishes for recovery to the wounded, who, to our regret, include an Israeli citizen.”

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin also extended his condolences. “This is a complex and turbulent time for the State of Israel, but not only for the State of Israel,” he declared. “Last night, Turkey endured yet another terror attack. I send from here my sympathies and wishes for better days, to the families who have lost their sons and daughters, and to the Turkish people after another disaster which has befallen them.”

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News