Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this morning at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting, made the following remarks:
“There is a lot of misinformation and disinformation regarding the possible agreement that is being formulated with Turkey and therefore I would like to make it clear: We are continuing our constant efforts, both open and in secret to bring back to Israel Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, may their memories be blessed, and also the two Israelis being held in Gaza. We are in continuous contact with the families and we will neither rest nor be silent until we bring the boys back home.
Today the Cabinet will discuss something historic – lifting the immunity, which I find strange, regarding the Yemenite children affair. I said this at the start of last week, I am committed to discovering the truth. Minister Tzahi Hanegbi will be responsible for the issue and will submit the findings on this matter to the Cabinet. Today we are also starting the process of evaluating the partial enactment of a long weekend in the State of Israel. If done correctly, I think that this could be a blessing, and also provide respite, for the residents of Israel.
Today, the Cabinet will discuss a plan to increase cooperation between Israel and Africa. As you know, soon I will be leaving on a visit to four African countries. This is part of a major effort on our part to return to Africa in a big way. This is important for Israeli companies and for the State of Israel. It is also important for the countries of Africa. We are enacting an important tool to start this process which, I have no doubt, will expand in the coming years.
Today I am going to Rome where I will meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. We will discuss regional processes, the question of security, the process with the Palestinians and, of course, other issues.
Regarding the process with the Palestinians, I think that Abu Mazen, last week, again proved to the entire world that he is not interested in direct negotiations with Israel. Worse, he also spread abhorrent lies about the State of Israel and Judaism. True, he quickly apologized, a halfhearted half-apology, but the things he said there were in keeping with what he has said about us on other occasions, including at the UN General Assembly. Therefore, I think that people can conclude from this who wants to advance peace and a peace process – and who does not.
Among other issues, at the talks with US Secretary of State Kerry and Italian Prime Minister Renzi, we will discuss, of course, Britain’s major decision to leave the European Union. There is no direct effect on Israel apart from the fact that we are part of the global economy. Over the weekend I held a discussion with the Finance Minister, the Governor of the Bank of Israel, Avi Simhon and other people, including professionals, regarding the implications for the Israeli economy. I can say one thing: The Israeli economy is strong. It has very considerable foreign currency reserves; therefore, to the extent that there is some effect, it is not expected to be strong, other than unrest in the global economy. I think that as this process is begun, Israel is in a good position.”