Goods still can’t flow from Gaza to the West Bank for security reasons, Prime
Minister Binaymin Netanyahu said Sunday.
Netanyahu thanked the Dutch
Prime Minister Mark Rutte for his country’s contribution to a new scanner at the
Kerem Shalom Crossing on the Gaza border, when the two met in
“We want to make sure that goods that go from Gaza do not
contain weapons or explosives that can reach the Palestinian Authority areas;
that would undermine not just us, but the PA,” Netanyahu said.
“I do not
want to give an open channel to Hamas and Islamic Jihad [to send weapons] into
the PA, that is not a good idea,” said Netanyahu.
He explained that the
scanner, which is already operational, has helped improve security for Israel
and prosperity for the people in Gaza, but at present, it has been used to help
the flow of goods from the strip to Europe.
The scanner is good. It is
important for security and will be important for prosperity. We’ll take it one
step at a time, together,” Netanyahu said.
He spoke with reporters at a
special ceremony with Rutte, who along with representatives of 60 Dutch
companies, is in Israel for a three day visit.
“The Netherlands is open
for business,” Rutte said.
Netanyahu and Rutte signed a document that
established “the Netherlands Israel Cooperation Forum.”
provides a framework to cultivate private sector initiatives, particularly in
technology, agriculture and energy, and to enhance the political
The Netherlands, Netanyahu said, has an important role to play
in supporting the peace process; through its financial investment in the area –
including in the PA.
“That’s primarily by advancing
prosperity. It’s not a substitute for the political theme, but buttresses
it and helps give people hope and prevents them from sliding to, I would say to
radical – I was going to give them a compliment and say medieval ideologies, but
I think they’re pre-medieval in some cases,” Netanyahu said.
“We want to
embrace the future, for prosperity, security and peace,” Netanyahu
He also thanked Rutte for his friendship, both to himself and to
“It is a great relationship that we have between our countries,
our peoples, our governments, and between us personally. You have been a
great friend, a champion of Israeli Dutch relations, and peace and prosperity,”
He recalled his visit to the ancient Portuguese synagogue
in Amsterdam last time he was in Holland.
“It’s one of the great
synagogues of the world. And it is a reflection, I think, of the role that
Holland (really the free state of Holland), played in our history, that formed a
refuge for Portuguese Jews,” Netanyahu said.
Rutte assured Netanyahu that
the Netherlands understood his security concerns.
“We, as the
Netherlands, are fully aware of the security concerns of Israel. We will
always be,” Rutte said