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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with British Prime Minister Theresa May in London on Wednesday, June 6, 2018.(Photo by: HAIM ZACH/GPO)
British PM May voices concern over Gaza deaths
By HERB KEINON
06/07/2018
Netanyahu: The problem is rooted in Hamas’s goal to destroy us.
Differences regarding the recent violence in Gaza and the Iranian nuclear deal surfaced politely when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his British counterpart Theresa May met briefly in front of the cameras in London on Wednesday, before a lengthier private meeting.

May said that while Britain “absolutely recognizes” Israel’s right to self-defense against “extremists and terrorists,” it is “concerned about the loss of Palestinian lives” in the recent events in Gaza.

“With 100 Palestinian lives lost and a deteriorating situation in Gaza, I hope we can talk about how we can alleviate that situation and how we can ensure that we can get back to a position where we are able to find a way through to talk about a two-state solution,” May said.

Netanyahu, in his remarks, said that the problems in Gaza are “rooted in the fundamental goal of Hamas to destroy Israel.”

“We are not witnessing peaceful protests,” he said. “In addition to burning our fields, these people are being paid for and pushed by Hamas to try to break into Israel’s defenses, kill as many Israelis as they can, right next to our border, and kidnap our soldiers.”

Netanyahu stressed that the recent events in Gaza were not “non-violent protests.”

“We are doing everything we can to both minimize casualties, and at the same time protect Israeli lives,” he said. “I think you recognize this. It’s a new technique, it’s a tactic of terrorists who attack civilian targets and hide behind civilians, or in this case use civilians as human shields. I think we should condemn it, and discuss ways how we can prevent this.”

Regarding the Iranian nuclear deal, May echoed what German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron told Netanyahu earlier in the week, that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action “is the best route to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.”

She said that Britain will remain committed to the deal “as long as Iran meets its obligations.”

At the same time, she said that there were other issues that needed to be addressed regarding Iran – “its destabilizing regional activity in countries like Syria and Yemen and also the proliferation of ballistic missiles.”

Netanyahu, in Paris on Tuesday alongside Macron, said that he was not asking the European countries to withdraw from the JCPOA because he believes the “economic realities” resulting from the US withdrawal and its sanctions against countries doing business with Iran will lead to the collapse of the deal.

Alongside May, the prime minister said he wanted to discuss the two goals they share regarding Iran: “The first is how to make sure that Iran does not have nuclear weapons. And the second is how to roll back Iran’s aggression in the region, and specifically in Syria. And I think we can find ways to work together to achieve both goals.”

Following the meeting with May, Netanyahu met with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. The prime minister will speak at a London think-tank on Thursday before flying back home.
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