Amid Turkey deal protest, PM vows Israel working to retrieve fallen soldiers from Gaza

In weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu says Brexit vote won't have significant direct impact on Israel.

June 26, 2016 11:50
2 minute read.
netanyahu knesset

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Knesset cabinet meeting. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)


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Britain's shock referendum vote in favor of leaving the European Union will not directly affect Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday at the weekly cabinet meeting.

"There is no direct effect on Israel, apart from the fact that we are part of the global economy," the premier said ahead of a slated trip to Rome where he will meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

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Netanyahu added that he has been in contact with officials from the Finance Ministry and Bank of Israel to discuss the possible implications of the so-called 'Brexit' vote on the Israeli economy.

The prime minister asserted that despite the global market drop Friday after the British vote that has left world bodies weighing the political and economic impact, "Israel's situation is good."

"I can say one thing - Israel's economy is strong," Netanyahu stressed. "It is a strong economy with large-scale foreign exchange reserves, so in case there is any impact, it is not expected to be strong, apart from shaking up the global economy."

In his remarks, Netanyahu also spoke of recent developments regarding Israel's diplomatic processes with Turkey and the Palestinians.

He stated that there has been "a lot of misinformation and disinformation" surrounding a pending reconciliation agreement expected to be forged this week by Israel and Turkey.

The premier also addressed protest of the deal by the families of two IDF soldiers killed in the 2014 Operation Protective Edge, and whose bodies were never returned from Gaza.

On Saturday, the families of fallen Israeli soldiers Lt. Hadar Goldin and St.-Sgt. Oron Shaul charged that the looming agreement with Turkey, which houses Hamas operations and other Islamic terrorism, does not stipulate the return of their sons' bodies.

"We are in constant contact with the families, and we will not rest until we return the boys home," Netanyahu vowed, adding that Israel conducts constant efforts to retrieve their remains that are thought to be held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

In the cabinet address, Netanyahu also lashed out at Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas over his recent "vile lies" about Israel and Judaism.

The prime minister criticized Abbas who "apologized, [or rather] meagerly half apologized " Saturday over allegations he made at an address to the European Parliament last week that Israeli rabbis have promoted the poisoning of Palestinian wells. 

Netanyahu, who linked the remarks to "blood libel," said the PA leader's speech "against proved to the world that he is not interested in direct negotiations with Israel"

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