JERUSALEM, Israel – The Syrian war has delivered yet another heartbreaking shock to the world as evidence pours in from a devastating attack that likely involved chemical weapons.
The death toll is rising, and Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 20 children and 17 women are among at least 72 people who were killed in the attack.
Chemical weapons attacks evoke terrible memories of the Holocaust in which 6 million Jews died, many in gas chambers. Perhaps that's why Israelis so strongly condemned Tuesday's gas attack in northern Syria.
Israeli leaders from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to members of Israel's parliament have strongly condemned the chemical strike, believed to have been committed by the Syrian regime on its own people.
Netanyahu said every human being should be shaken by the horrific images of Tuesday's gas attack. He called on the international community to fulfill its 2013 commitment to complete the removal of Syria's chemical weapons cache.
"If this is not done, there is no value to international commitments and treaties," Netanyahu told participants at a memorial ceremony for the late Chaim Herzog, Israel's sixth president and the father of opposition leader Isaac Herzog.
Syrian medical sources believe the death toll is already up to at least 100 people, with another 400 injured.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin also called on the international community to respond to the brutality, calling it "a stain on all humanity."
"The international community in its entirety must come together to bring an end to this murderous madness and ensure that such scenes will never be repeated anywhere," he said in a statement. International leaders, he said, must "work urgently to remove all stockpiles of chemical weapons from Syrian territory."
Rivlin said the Jewish people well understand the dangers of "silence."
"We, as a people which survived the greatest of atrocities and rose from the ashes [of the Holocaust] to be a strong and secure nation, we will do all we can to continue to aid the survivors of the horrors in Syria. We know all too well how dangerous silence can be, and we cannot remain mute."
Education Minister Naftali Bennett asked the prime minister to convene the security cabinet, saying in a statement, "The use of chemical weapons against civilians requires Israel's security cabinet to rethink its stance."
"Children are choking to death," Bennett tweeted. "The world must act against the chemical massacre in Syria. I call upon President Trump to lead this effort."
President Trump issued a statement condemning the attack, in part blaming the Obama administration.
"These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration's weakness and irresolution. President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a "red line" against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing."
He also called on U.S. allies "across the globe to condemn this intolerable attack."