Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a cabinet meeting.
(photo credit: YOAV DAVIDKOVITZ / POOL)
The dramatic events and rising tensions in the region over the last few days illustrate the importance of Israel’s cooperation with Sunni Arab states, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated during his opening remarks before the weekly cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
Netanyahu told his ministers that Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi would brief them on the level of Israel’s regional cooperation, a cooperation that he said has grown for two reasons: “The first reason is because of a joint assessment of common threats, and I think that the dramatic events around us illustrate this point very well over the past few days.”
The prime minister said that this aspect of the cooperation would not be discussed in the cabinet meeting, which would instead focus on Israel’s development as a world “technological force,” and one that “the countries of the region also want to benefit from.” He said this type of cooperation could plant “the seeds of true peace that one day could come on the basis of such cooperation.”
Noting that Wednesday night marks the beginning of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Netanyahu said that the “memory of the Holocaust is always with us, as is the appreciation of the heroism that reestablished the State of Israel, and which gives us hope for the future.”
This hope, he said, is “first and foremost our ability to defend ourselves by ourselves against those who come to destroy us.”
Netanyahu said that in this context he wanted to address a video clip making the rounds showing a couple of extreme-left-wingers berating IDF soldiers near the Gaza security fence, calling them “terrorists” and accusing them of “massacring Palestinians.”
It was “infuriating and absurd” to see people come up to IDF soldiers – protecting the country from destruction – “and calling them terrorists,” the prime minister said.
IDF snipers recorded on video opening fire on what seems to be an unarmed protester on the Gaza border
“They don’t call Hamas terrorists, even though they declare their intention openly to destroy the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said.
“Rather they attack IDF soldiers acting to prevent that destruction. There is no greater absurdity that this. I think that every day, especially on a day like today, we all recognize the tremendous contribution of the IDF soldiers to the security and future of Israel. I am proud of our soldiers.”
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