NAIROBI, Kenya – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is on a four-country Africa trip, reached Kenya on Monday. He will pursue business deals and seek support against international condemnation of Israeli policies for the Palestinians.
According to reports, Netanyahu will meet Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and hold meetings with Kenyan business executives.
This is the first time in 29 years that an Israeli PM is visiting sub-Saharan Africa.
He said, “It might take a decade, but we will change the automatic majority against Israel. I believe that this meeting will be seen as a turning point in Israel’s ability to reach a broad number of African countries, which is our goal.”
Israel has reportedly had a long history of ties with Africa which have been built on export of arms and agricultural products, and imports of oil, diamonds and other natural resources.
Alliance with Israel by African nations had been cut off after the African states severed ties with the country during the 1973 Middle East war.
However, it has started to deepen again with the threat of radical Islam in African countries and Israel reach with Western allies.
According to reports, Netanyahu is in Africa to strengthen business relations with African companies.
Netanyahu has a delegation of 70 business executives with him on the trip which will also take him to Ethiopia and Rwanda.
Some reports claimed that companies that have sent executives with Netanyahu include Elbit Systems, Israel’s biggest publicly traded defense contractor; Netafim, which makes irrigation systems; Magal Security Systems, a specialist in perimeter security at airports; Israel Chemicals, a fertiliser producer; and dronemaker Aeronautics.
Israel is reportedly launching a $13 million aid package to strengthen ties with Africa.
Netanyahu’s first stop was Uganda. It was an emotional stop for Netanyahu as he marked the 40th anniversary on July 4 of the Uganda hostage rescue in which his brother was killed.
He spoke at Entebbe, close to the site of the raid in 1976 and added that the trip was very moving.
He said, “Exactly 40 years ago Israeli soldiers carried out the historic mission in Entebbe. Forty years ago they landed in the dead of night in a country led by a brutal dictator who gave refuge to terrorists, today we landed in broad daylight to be welcomed by a president who fights terrorism.”
Netanyahu’s brother had been killed while trying to rescue passengers aboard an Air France plane hijacked by two Palestinians and two Germans. READ MORE OF THIS REPORT