We are doing all in our power in order to improve the situation in Gaza, and to rebuild, as long as it is not used by Hamas to rearm. We recognize the importance of the UN as a mediator in international conflicts, but it cannot replacem direct negotiations.
(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)
President Reuven Rivlin today (Wednesday), held his first working meeting with UN Middle East Special Envoy, Nickolay Mladenov, during which they spoke about the current security and political situation in the region.
The President welcomed Special Envoy Mladenov for the first time to the President’s Residence and said, "The State of Israel respects the UN. I myself spoke in January at the UN special assembly. We recognize the importance of the UN as a mediator in international conflicts, but the UN and its institutions must be sure not to become a replacement for direct negotiations between the sides. Only direct negotiations will bring a long term solution to the conflict."
The President directed his words to the need to rebuild Gaza, he said, "This is a very real need for the innocent residents of Gaza, who are held captive by Hamas who are denying them prosperity. We are doing all in our power in order to improve the situation in Gaza, and to allow the rebuilding, as long as it is not used by Hamas in order to rearm. It is important to reiterate that Hamas is our enemy, and they have in their hands two of our sons, and even if they are most likely no longer alive, Hamas must return them to Israel immediately."
Special Envoy Mladenov said, "I want to congratulate you for the statements you have made, importance you place on negotiations, and on the need for the peoples of this region to live together side by side, a message which has been heard clearly around the world.
We have an important mission to rehabilitate Gaza. Gaza is a great challenge and we are working hard in order to find a solution which will allow not just the rebuilding of the homes and infrastructure there, but also rehabilitate the population of Gaza, and bring them to an understanding that extremism and fundamentalism are not a solution.
We will work to the best of our abilities in order to ensure the rehabilitation of Gaza, and we will continue to work alongside our friends in the international community who are contributing so much, and the Israeli teams, in order to ensure that the help in Gaza is given to those who need it, and not to those who will use it for other things."