Recent terror attacks in Jerusalem and Canada are not isolated events, and American policy leaders must drop "the illusion that these are random acts of senseless violence unrelated to our national security," Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) said.
Whether the Islamic State or Hamas is behind the attacks, the extremist ideology remains the same–and it poses a direct threat to democratic values across the globe, Cruz said in pointed comments to those who might claim the attacks were unrelated.
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Following the Hamas terror attack Wednesday in Jerusalem–which injured several American citizens, including a child–both Hamas and the more moderate Fatah ruling party praised the terrorist responsible for the attack.
The same day, IS supporters worldwide took to Twitter to celebrate the fatal shooting of a Canadian soldier by a radicalized man that attacked the country’s Parliament building.
"We have to get away from the illusion that these are random acts of senseless violence unrelated to our national security," Cruz said.
Cruz said the attacks are both strains of the same extremist virus.
"Deliberations over our foreign policy have gained a new clarity in recent days," Cruz said. "Yesterday, an innocent, beautiful baby in Jerusalem was murdered by Hamas."
"Terrorist organizations Hamas and Fatah both celebrated the destruction of this precious life just months after they relished in the slayings of Jewish teens," Cruz said. "They did not care that the baby was American or one of the teens was a dual Israeli-American citizen. Their campaign of death is indiscriminate."
The attack in Canada, which officials said was carried out by a "radicalized" individual, is similar to previous attacks in the United States, such as the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood that the Obama administration classified as "workplace violence" rather than terrorism.
"Yesterday, a courageous young Canadian soldier was also murdered by a terrorist in Ottawa in a brutal attack in our own hemisphere," Cruz said.
"Innocent Americans have similarly been slaughtered on our homeland in Fort Hood, Texas; in Moore, Okla.; and at a Army recruiting center in Little Rock, Ark."
"Whether it's in Jerusalem, Ottawa, or in American hometowns, the threat is the same," Cruz said. "These are not only attacks in the lands of our allies, they are attacks on our shared way of life."
The recent spate of terror attacks should be a warning to American leaders that they cannot sit idly by as extremists threaten Western ideals.
"We are stronger when we stand together, and we must, united, rise to the challenge of defeating those who seek to destroy us all," Cruz said.
In a rare sign of unity, both Hamas and Fatah celebrated Wednesday’s terror attack in Jerusalem, in which a suspected member of Hamas drove his car into a crowd of people waiting for the downtown light rail to arrive.
Hamas referred to the murdered baby, an American citizen, as a "female settler" and instructed Palestinians to "escalate the confrontations" with Israel, according to a translation of the terror group’s statement posted by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).
"The Islamic Resistance Movement ‘Hamas' praises its son, the hero martyr Abd al Rahman Idris al-Shaludi, implementer of the operation of running over the settlers in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem, which led to the death of a female settler and the injury of eight others," Hamas said in its statement, IPT reported.
An adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made similar comments, calling the attacker a "heroic martyr," IPT reported.
The State Department confirmed on Thursday that the murdered baby was an American citizen and said U.S. officials in Israel are "in close touch with the family."
"They’re providing consular assistance," State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki told reporters.
"Out of respect for and privacy certainly for those who are affected, we’re not going to be sharing much more publicly."