Gantz says Israel protects ‘freedom of worship’ at ambassador Iftar dinner

"Israel values freedom of worship and we will do everything in our capacity to enable it, while an extremist group - the minority - aims to harm it," the defense minister said.

  Israel's Defense Minister Benny Gantz is seen addressing a townhall in Munich, Germany, on February 20, 2022. (photo credit: Munich Security Conference)
Israel's Defense Minister Benny Gantz is seen addressing a townhall in Munich, Germany, on February 20, 2022.
(photo credit: Munich Security Conference)

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz held an Iftar dinner with ambassadors from “Abraham Accords” countries on Monday evening, where he declared that “Israel is taking unprecedented measures to enable freedom of worship while an extremist group – the minority – aims to harm it.”

The celebratory meal to break the daily Ramadan fast was attended by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco, H.E. Abderrahim Bayoud, and the UAE Ambassador H.E. Mohamed Al Khaja, as well as other government officials from the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. US Charge D’Affaires Mr. Jonathan Shrier and Israeli MKs Ruth Wasserman Lande and Ofir Akunis, who lead the Knesset Abraham Accords Caucus, were also in attendance.

"Israel values freedom of worship and we will do everything in our capacity to enable it, while an extremist group – the minority – aims to harm it. It is important for us that this message is brought to the leaders of your countries,” Gantz said at the dinner. Israel has been rocked by terror attacks in the past month as tensions between Israelis and Arabs have risen amid the backdrop of Ramadan.

Gantz further warned about escalation from Iran. "We all have an interest to maintain regional peace and stability, particularly in the face of Iranian aggression – which is a global and regional threat," he said. "Iran sponsors terror around the world, and the possibility of a nuclear Iran threatens us all."

 Police and rescue workers at the scene of a terror attack on Dizengoff street, central Tel Aviv. 5 were wounded in the shooting, 3 severely. April 07, 2022.  (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90) Police and rescue workers at the scene of a terror attack on Dizengoff street, central Tel Aviv. 5 were wounded in the shooting, 3 severely. April 07, 2022. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

“You are aware of the reality on the ground and it is important to reflect it to the leaders of your countries," Gantz declared.

While defending Israel in his remarks, the defense minister wished his counterparts a blessed Ramadan holiday, adding that the Abraham Accords and the ties that have developed between the participating nations since have tremendously benefited the Middle East. Gantz additionally updated the ambassadors about his intention to open the Erez crossing and about further confidence-building measures taken over the past year regarding the Palestinians.