“The way to peace is through negotiations, we are willing to have direct negotiations, they are not willing to. That is preventing peace not a few houses in Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim.”
KIGALI – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu firmly rejected criticism of plans to build new housing in Ma’ale Adumim and east Jerusalem, saying at a press conference here that it was incitement, not the building of a few homes, that was holding up peace.
Asked about the new settlement construction plans, and the US condemnation of the move, Netanyahu said, “I know the US position, it is not new and not acceptable to us. Building in Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim is, in all due respect not, distancing the peace.”
Netanyahu said that the obstacle to peace is the “continuous incitement against the existence of Israel on any borders, and it is time that the nations of the world recognize that simple truth.”
And, he added, there is another simple truth, that the way to solve problems is through negotiations, which Israel is willing to do, and they are not.
“The time has come to world to recognize it. The way to peace is through negotiations, we are willing to have direct negotiations, they are not willing to. That is preventing peace not a few houses in Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim,” he said.
Netanyahu also addressed an issue that has not yet been raised publicly during his meetings in Africa: the plight of African migrants in Israel.
Netanyahu took issue with the characterization that they were seeking asylum, saying instead that they are “job seekers.” Israel, he said, has an obligation to “regulate its borders,” adding that it is the only country that brought black people from Africa not as slaves, but as free people.
Rwanda President Paul Kagame dodged a question about whether there was a secret agreement whereby Israel was repatriating African migrants to Rwanda, Ethiopia and Uganda. He said no issue was “taboo” to talk about between leaders, but he would not go into any detail.