Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at Ben Gurion Airport on March 31, 2019.
(photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)
Israel is prepared for an extensive military campaign in Gaza if necessary, even if it needs to embark on one during Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s visit, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday morning.
He spoke as he greeted Bolsonaro and his delegation at Ben Gurion Airport at the start of the Brazilian president’s four day visit.
This is a very sensitive time from the perspective of the security situation in Gaza.
“We are prepared for any scenario. If necessary, even for for an extensive [military] campaign,” Netanyahu said.
During Bolsonaro’s visit, Netanyahu said, Israeli troops will remain concentrated on the Gaza border, this includes the ground, arial and naval forces.
“We are making history," Netanyahu told Bolsonaro after he landed.
“When you entered your position in January of this year, we opened a new era in the relations between Brazil and Israel.
“I was at the emotional ceremony when you are were sworn in as President. Now three months later, on your first trip outside of the American continent you have arrived in Israel to bring the relations between us to new heights,” Netanyahu said.
He noted that Bolsonaro had come with a large delegation of ministers, parliamentarians and business people.
“This is the largest Brazilian delegation that has ever come to Israel,” Netanyahu said.
In the coming days he looked forward to signing many bilateral agreements with Brazil as well as to the joint visit, he and Bolsonaro plan to make to the Western Wall located in Jerusalem, "our eternal capital.”
Netanyahu recalled how when he visited Brazil he was able to walk in the streets of its capital.
“I was impressed by the love the Brazilian nation felt for Israel. There is no other way to descrxibe. I am certain that just as I witnessed the adoration toward me in Brazil, you will feel the adoration Israelis feels toward you.
The Israelis love Brazil, its culture its food, its music, its carnival, and especially the warm and the joy of the Brazilian nation,” Netanyahu said.
Neither Netanyahu or Bolsonaro spoke of open question of whether Brazil plans to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem
. Bolsonaro had earlier pledged to do so, but made statements before leaving for Israel in which he appeared to backtracking from that pledge.
At the airport, Bolsonaro spoke of his intention to strengthen ties with Israel.
Bolsonaro mentioned his admiration for Israel and its people. "I've always been asked, what can we learn from Israel?" said Bolsonaro. "We know that Israel is not as rich as Brazil in terms of natural resources, but one thing I always pointed out was--look at what they [Israel] have and who they are. And I turned to my Brazilian brothers and say, Look at what we have and what we aren't."
" I would tell them--we need to have the same faith as they [Israelis] have,," Bolsonaro said.
"People of Israel, together our nations can achieve great things," concluded Bolsonaro.
Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev welcome Bolsonaro to Israel on with a note on her Facebook page that said, "We are waiting wtih anticipation to hear the news that he he will bring with him with regard to strengthening the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel."
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