Photo Credit: Emil Salman / POOL
Netanyahu leads the weekly cabinet meeting, February 12, 2017.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his Sunday morning cabinet meeting, said that Last Friday he spoke with British Prime Minister Theresa May and sent condolences, on behalf of the Government and People of Israel, to the families of those who were murdered and, “of course, my wishes for a recovery for those who were wounded. I told her that we in Israel have stood against car-ramming and stabbing attacks and we understand that the terrorism that is striking us is the terrorism that is striking London, Brussels, Nice and other places around the world. This is the terrorism of radical Islam that calls for concerted action everywhere in order to defeat it. We will defeat it much quicker if we work together.

As to the mixed response on the part of the UK’s foreign office on the settlements boycott vote at the UN Human Rights Council, Netanyahu said, “I also thanked her for the intention, which was indeed realized, several hours later in the Human Rights Council, such this strange UN agency is called, on changing Britain’s vote, and much more importantly, for the important speech by British representatives. What was said there, that if bias against Israel in that body continues, than Britain will consistently oppose all decisions. I think that this is an important sign that we would like to encourage the international community to follow. We think that the time has come to begin changing the distorted attitude toward Israel in international bodies.”


Reporting on his China trip, Netanyahu noted: “Last week I and four ministers made a diplomatic and economic visit to China during which Israeli companies signed deals with Chinese companies. The report that we received from the Economy Ministry Foreign Trade Administration is that approximately 25 Israeli companies signed around $2 billion worth of deals during the visit. The main areas are health, agriculture, water and of course the investment of Chinese capital in Israeli funds.

“During the visit, China granted Israel a unique status that it has with no other country in the world as a principal partner in developing innovation. This has a similar – but different – link with one other country, Switzerland, and they took care to emphasize the importance that they ascribe to this link with Israel vis-à-vis technology and innovation.

“At my request, the President of China agreed to consider the question of an investment policy specific for Israel. China recently decided to restrict, to completely halt, its external investments for its own reasons – I am talking about the world, not Israel. In light of my request, the President of China said that he was prepared to consider an exception for Israel, meaning that Chinese investments in the high-tech and other sectors would continue.

“I must say that we were welcomed there with genuine warmth – and the signs were apparent – also by the Chinese economic sector, which it must be said is guided by the government, and in all my contacts, as well as the ministers’, in ceremonies, which are very important to China, that China is very much tightening its links with Israel. These developments are very important both to the Israeli economy and Israel’s citizens, and to the strengthening diplomatic status of the State of Israel in the world vis-à-vis the major powers and many other countries.”

Regarding the reported disputes between his government and the Trump Administration, Netanyahu said: “There have been reports in the media lately regarding apparent agreements in the talks we are holding with the White House on the issue of settlement construction. I would like to make it clear that there is much in these reports that is not true. I will not go into details. Our talks with the White House are continuing; I hope they will conclude quickly.”


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