Rivlin marks 70th anniversary of last Jewish camps in Cyprus
search

Rivlin marks 70th anniversary of last Jewish camps in Cyprus

Visit aims to upgrade relations; president says Israeli-Cypriot cooperation on intelligence, security, terror prevention has made Mediterranean ‘much, much safer’

President Reuven Rivlin reviews a military guard of honor during a welcoming ceremony before a meeting with Cyprus's President Nicos Anastasiades at the presidential palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, on February 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
President Reuven Rivlin reviews a military guard of honor during a welcoming ceremony before a meeting with Cyprus's President Nicos Anastasiades at the presidential palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, on February 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA, Cyprus — President Reuven Rivlin flew to Cyprus Tuesday to mark 70 years since the closure of British detention camps on the island for Jews trying to reach Palestine after World War II.

He was to visit a monument in Nicosia dedicated to the 2,200 children of Holocaust survivors who were born in British colonial camps there between 1946 and 1949.

Rivlin also held talks with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades.

Cyprus and Israel aim to upgrade relations, “especially on energy, security, economy, tourism, research and innovation,” tweeted Anastasiades.

Cyprus’s President Nicos Anastasiades, left, and President Reuven Rivlin at the presidential palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, on February 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Rivlin said cooperation between Israel and Cyprus on intelligence, security and terror prevention has made the Mediterranean “much, much safer.”

After the talks Tuesday with Anastasiades, he said Israeli-Cypriot security ties “have never been better” with the two countries’ navies and commando units sharing “space, knowledge and experience.”

He added that the focus of the neighbors’ strategic partnership, which includes Greece, is developing the East Med gas pipeline that “could be one of the greatest underwater projects in the world.”

The envisioned pipeline would carry natural gas from deposits in the eastern Mediterranean to Europe via Greece and Italy.

IDF and Cypriot National Guard soldiers take part in a joint exercise at the Israeli army’s Tzeelim training base in southern Israel on October 25, 2017. (Israel Defense Forces)

Rivlin said energy cooperation in the eastern Mediterranean could also benefit Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinians. He added that the Israel-Cyprus-Greece partnership could be expanded.

Britain, the colonial power in both Cyprus and Palestine at the time, detained on Cyprus about 52,000 Jews fleeing Europe in the wake of the Holocaust who were attempting to reach the soon-to-be-declared state of Israel, most of them young orphans, and housed them in tents.

The monument is situated at a present-day army camp that was known as the British Military Hospital.

Those detained had been intercepted at sea by British Mandate authorities as they approached Palestine, and were held in 12 camps on the island.

The camps were closed a year after the 1948 establishment of Israel.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments