Netanyahu takes off for Cyprus, with natural gas, Eritreans on his mind

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a former political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara speak to the press from the tarmac at Ben Gurion International Airport on September 3, 2023. (Carrie-Keller-Lynn/Times of Israel)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara speak to the press from the tarmac at Ben Gurion International Airport on September 3, 2023. (Carrie-Keller-Lynn/Times of Israel)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that gas export strategy is expected to be one of the central issues in his upcoming trilateral meeting with Cypriot and Greek leaders, in remarks to reporters from the tarmac before taking off to visit in Nicosia.

The prime minister also touched on Saturday’s bloody riot in Tel Aviv, which drew police into a conflict between Eritrean asylum seekers protesting for and against their dictatorial regime. Earlier on Sunday, Netanyahu instructed a ministerial committee to look into deporting Eritrean regime supporters involved in the riot, as well as other measures against illegal African migration to Israel.

“What happened yesterday in Tel Aviv crossed a red line,” the premier says.

Netanyahu blames “the court” for invalidating measures his previous government tried to take against African migrants and asylum seekers, including holding them for several years without trial.

Similarly, Netanyahu dismisses a UN-supported proposal to resettle half of Israel’s Eritrean asylum seekers abroad while giving the rest a legal status to stay in Israel.

“It would have been a disaster, if we had accepted,” he says.

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