The Netherlands will help Israel boost energy and water supplies to Gaza including by building a gas pipeline, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday.
The announcement came during an official two-day visit by the Israeli PM to the Netherlands, in which he also discussed the current terror threat in Israel and Europe.
“We want to help the population of Gaza and the first step is to improve the supply of energy and water… including laying a gas pipeline,” Netanyahu said.
After talks with his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte, Netanyahu said his cabinet had already made a decision to lay the pipeline “and I appreciate your help in realizing this project.”
Rutte said his country had already invested in a feasibility study for a gas pipeline from Israel to the impoverished Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip.
The Netherlands would also facilitate expert meetings between Dutch, Israeli and Palestinian officials focusing on energy and water, he told a joint press conference.
“The aim of these meetings is to improve the Palestinian economy, but equally it provides for a more fertile ground for political negotiations between the two parties,” added Rutte.
“I realize it’s not going to be easy, but we need to keep on moving,” he stressed.
Also during the visit, Prime Minister Netanyahu told reporters that the Palestinian Authority celebrated terror and refused to recognize Israel.
The Palestinians want Acre, Jaffa and Tel Aviv,” he said, according to quotes reported by Israel National News and confirmed by Netanyahu’s spokesman. “The Palestinians and [PA President Mahmoud] Abbas won’t agree to the existence of Israel. The Palestinians celebrate murderous terror around the world, and in Israel they name their streets after murderers,” he said.
Netanyahu met Wednesday with senior Dutch politicians, including Dutch Senate President Ankie Broekers-Knol, House of Representatives Speaker Khadija Arib and members of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.
He said that “in many respects” Israel’s defense of itself was a defense of Europe, too.
Israel doesn’t only protect itself, but also protects Europe,” he said. “Israel is the most stable actor in the Middle East and the most stabilizing force in the Middle East.”
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Angelien Eijsink concluded the meeting by saying the close relations between the two countries were based on shared values, according to a statement from Netanyahu’s office.
As Netanyahu greeted a group of Dutch lawmakers after the meeting, one parliament member refused to shake the Israeli leader’s hand.