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President Rivlin meets with Norwegian FM Brende

​President Rivlin: The rehabilitation and reconstruction of Gaza should be linked to the demilitarization of Gaza, because otherwise Hamas will use the financial aid to further military aims and enhance their ability to attack Israel once again. 


President Reuven Rivlin, at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, met with Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende and told him at the start of their meeting, "I would like to welcome you once again to our state and to the region. We appreciate very much your concern and your idea to come to us once again and the appreciation goes with the understanding that you are very much worried about the situation with the people of Gaza."
President Rivlin added that, "The reconstruction of Gaza is one of our interests as much as it is of the all the free world. The rehabilitation and reconstruction of Gaza should go along with the demilitarization of Gaza because otherwise we can see the next round in no time because the Hamas people once again will spend all the money that the whole world is trying to help them with in order to reconstruct Gaza, and will put it into military aims and the ability to attack Israel once again. We can come to a dead-end once again and we could find ourselves in a very, very serious situation." The President concluded his remarks by saying, "I very much appreciate the idea that you are trying to help all those people who need humanitarian help."
Norwegian Foreign Minister Brende thanked President Rivlin for his kind words and said, "I know that this has been a very difficult summer for Israel. I was here in July and I saw this. It has been tough on Israel and tough on the Palestinian people." He added, "I know now that there are important negotiations on a more permanent ceasefire and the conditions in Gaza under Egyptian leadership and I think that this is important." The Norwegian Foreign Minister also said, "We cannot discuss the Israel and Palestinian situations without looking at in a broader context," and referred to ISIS and the situation in Iraq.
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DFM Elkin meets with Norwegian FM Eide

DFM Elkin: "The international community must insist that during current negotiations the PA will not take any additional unilateral steps."

Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin met in Jerusalem with Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide.
Norway's interest in the political process stems from the fact that it is the leading donor state to the Palestinian Authority, a fact especially emphasized in light of the forthcoming meeting of the donor nations in September. The Norwegian FM agreed with DFM Elkin that the fact that a large percentage of the PA budget goes towards the funding of salaries of Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails is problematical. DFM Elkin said that the the educational message is troublesome, especially in the eyes of the young generation that understands that the most worthwhile job in the Palestinian Authority is that of terrorist. In comparison, the salary of an employee in the security service is approximately one quarter of that of a terrorist residing in an Israeli prison.
Regarding the negotiations, DFM Elkin noted the fears of the Israeli public, which is skeptical about the PA's ability to uphold the agreements. "If in the Oslo agreement it was explicitly stated that the Palestinian Authority would take no unilateral actions to establish an independent state, and twenty years later they go to the UN asking for recognition of a Palestinian state, who will guarantee that they will abide by the conditions of a new agreement? After all, the international community, including Norway, guaranteed the terms of the Oslo Agreement, and today we see they are allowed to continue to take unilateral steps that only further us from a peace agreement. In this regard, the international community must insist that during current negotiations the PA will not take any additional unilateral steps."
The issue of the civil war in Syria was also discussed in the meeting. The Norwegian FM was briefed on this issue, and the fact that Israel must be prepared for every scenario was emphasized; Syria is aware that we will respond to every attack.
An additional issue discussed was the UN Human Rights Council. Israel suspended its activities in the UNHRC because of the Council's systematic discrimination against Israel. Israel is currently examining its position regarding cooperation with the UNHRC, subject to a drastic change in the Council's approach to Israel, and DFM Elkin thanked the Norwegian FM for his positive attitude regarding this issue.
The two leaders also discussed the bilateral relations between Israel and Norway, as well as the need to increase cooperation between the two countries in the many fields where Israel can contribute to Norway and vice versa, including increased Norwegian investment in Israel, cooperation in the energy field, strengthening of the political dialogue and the research and development agreement. A dialogue on these topics will be held by a special delegation by the end of the year.


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