Israel to Help NATO Anti-Terror Fight: Netanyahu

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (2nd R) and Georgian Defence Minister Tina Khidash

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that Israel was ready to share intelligence with NATO to help fight extremist violence, as he met with ambassadors from alliance nations ahead of a summit.

Netanyahu condemned the weekend massacre in Orlando in the United States, last week’s assault by Palestinian gunmen in Tel Aviv that killed four Israelis and a list of other attacks as resulting from “the same evil”.

“Terror knows no bounds, and that is why our cooperation in the battle against terrorism must know no bounds as well,” Netanyahu said in an address to the ambassadors before a closed-door meeting.

“One day ISIS kills gays, the next day Yazidis, and then Jews, Muslims and Christians,” he said, using an alternative name for the Islamic State jihadist group.

Netanyahu said “we stand ready to help NATO in this collective struggle. We are prepared to share our intelligence and our experience to help in this common effort.”

NATO will hold a summit in Warsaw on July 8-9 and Tuesday’s meeting in Jerusalem was meant to discuss issues related to the meeting.

Israel said last month it would upgrade its ties with the 28-member military alliance by opening a permanent mission to its Brussels headquarters.

Netanyahu said Tuesday that Israel was working to open the office as soon as possible.

Israel already participates in military exercises with NATO members other than Turkey, notably the United States.

US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told journalists on the sidelines of Tuesday’s meeting that ongoing joint training and intelligence sharing from Israel was “certainly relevant to the threats that come out of this region.”

“We’re quite encouraged by what’s possible between Israel and NATO in the months ahead,” Shapiro said.

With IS and other jihadist organisations operating in neighbouring Syria, the fight against extremist violence represents a key area of cooperation for Israel and Western nations.



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