Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu broadcasted a Ramadan message to Israeli Arabs and Muslims around the world on Thursday, telling citizens of Israel that they are an "integral part of Israeli society."
In a message broadcast on his Facebook page, Netanyahu greeted Muslim citizens of Israel and around the globe to mark the beginning of the Muslim holy month, which began on Tuesday.
"As I do every year, I wish the Muslims a happy holidays," the prime minister stated, adding that on the month of Ramadan, he attaches great importance to one of the core values that characterizes the state of Israel: "Freedom of religion and worship for all citizens of the state."
In a reference to recent tremulous events in the region, Netanyahu stated that such freedoms were not self-evident today, but mark an "essential cornerstone in the democratic state of Israel."
In an effort to make inroads into the Muslim community within the
Israeli state, Netanyahu said that the community is an "integral part of
Israeli society," and that he attaches "great importance to the role
and contribution [of the Muslims] to the economy and in all aspects of life in Israel."
"Against the backdrop of increasingly large and violent upheavals that have hit many countries in the region and caused painful human tragedies," Netanyahu said, "I wish that the people of the region will also have a day of peace."
The prime minister wished on the region the "same freedoms and rights that we have in our country."
Extending a hand to the wider Arab world, Netanyahu said that Israel "continues to extend a hand of peace to its neighbors, both near and far."