JERUSALEM, Israel -- The Jewish state "stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the American people," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said as he extended condolences on Tuesday to victims of the Boston terror bombing.
"Yesterday, a day of enjoyment in Boston was turned into a day of terror," Netanyahu said during at an Independence Day reception for the foreign diplomatic corps at President Shimon Peres' Jerusalem residence. "We send our condolences to President Obama, the American people and the bereaved families."
"On this day and on any day, Israel stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the American people. We are partners in freedom and in seeking a better future for all humanity," Netanyahu said.
Jerusalem Post military correspondent Yaakov Katz, on a year's sabbatical as a visiting fellow at a Harvard University journalism program, said he and his wife had planned to celebrate Israel's Independence Day at a local synagogue. Instead, he went with two others from the program to the scene of the bombing.
"The scenes were all too familiar," Katz wrote. "As a reporter in Israel over the past decade, I have covered too many terrorist attacks -- bus bombings, shooting attacks, explosions at random cafes and restaurants."
A nurse named Lynne, who treated some of the injured near the Marathon's finish line, told him "we will run again," a message, he wrote, that resonated within him.
"That is a message we Israelis know well," Katz continued. "I am often asked how Israelis can sit in coffee shops in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem when rockets are landing in the South. How can people board a bus down the block from another bus that had just been blown up by a suicide bomber?"
"I think the answer mostly has to do with one word -- resilience. In my 20 years in Israel, I have always been impressed by the people's resilience. It is that resilience that I believe has helped Israel not just move forward but also thrive for 65 years in the face of wide-ranging threats," Katz said, adding that "Boston needs to be resilient" and he's confident "it will know how."
Two Grad Rockets Hit Eilat
Meanwhile early Wednesday morning, Israel's southernmost resort city of Eilat was targeted by two Grad rockets. Air raid sirens sounded around 9:00 a.m. were followed by loud explosions.
Officials reported light damage to one building in a neighborhood under construction in southern Eilat. Paramedics treated several residents for shock.
As a precautionary measure, Israeli officials temporarily closed the Eilat airport, resuming departing flights shortly afterward, Israel Radio reported.
Preliminary reports indicate the missiles were fired from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
Jordanian officials denied earlier reports that two rockets landed in the city of Aqaba, which sits opposite Eilat on the Red Sea port.
The Iron Dome anti-missile battery deployed to the city in early April detected the incoming rockets without intercepting them. The Iron Dome is programmed to only intercept rockets targeting populated areas.