Rwandan Minister: We don't know 'what this New Israel Fund is all about'

Rwandan minister claims his government doesn't know "what this New Israeli Fund is all about," asks how can an NGO impose pressure on Rwanda.

Protestors demonstrate against Israel's plan to deport asylum-seekers (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Protestors demonstrate against Israel's plan to deport asylum-seekers
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Rwandan Minister Olivier Nduhungirehe took to social media on Wednesday, dismissing any possibility that the New Israel Fund (NIF) influenced his country's actions regarding Israel.
 
''I am extremely surprised,'' claimed Rwandan Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Olivier Nduhungirehe. ''Rwanda doesn't even know what this New Israel Fund is all about.''
The tweet came in reaction to statements by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the New Israel Fund used European pressure on the government of Rwanda to force that nation to withdrew from an earlier agreement to accept Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers who had entered Israel illegally.
Nduhungirehe claimed that he was also surprised by "the assumption that a foreign NGO can successfully impose any pressure on a sovereign government.''
Nduhungirehe is a minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and East African Community (MINAFFET) in the Republic of Rwanda.
Netanyahu stated that he would support a parliamentary investigation committee into the operations of NIF, claiming that they are serving foreign governments and act against the security interests of Israel.
NIF denied these allegations, stating that they never had any dealings with the government of Rwanda and that all of their actions are transparent to the public.
A previous government plan to deport migrants to a third country was met with strong protests out of concern for the deportees' safety there. Earlier this week, Netanyahu announced an alternate plan, negotiated with the UNHCR, in which some migrants would receive asylum in a third country in the West, and others would be naturalized in Israel.
The prime minister canceled that plan shortly after it was announced, leaving a question mark over the fate of asylum seekers in Israel.   


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