Netanyahu defiant, 'I will remain PM of Israel'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (AFP)
Updated 14 February 2018
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Netanyahu defiant, 'I will remain PM of Israel'

JERUSALEM: PM Netanyahu’s reaction to the police recommendation to indict him, came in a televised speech where the PM insisted that he did nothing wrong and that he “will continue to lead” like he did all his life working for Israel, and that he will remain Prime Minister.
PM Netanyahu chose to address the public directly on television insisting that:”These (police) recommendations mean nothing in a democratic society” and he added that he will “continue to lead Israel responsibly and faithfully.”
Netanyahu went on to say that he did what he did for the sake of the country, not for “cigars from friends and not for better media coverage.” 
Earlier, Israeli Police recommended indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in two corruption cases.
The recommendations by the police do not immediately threaten Netanyahu, but they are deeply embarrassing and could fuel calls for him to step aside.
For months, police have been investigating two cases. In one probe, Netanyahu reportedly received over $100,000 in gifts from Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan and other wealthy supporters.
The other is over secret talks with the publisher of a major Israeli newspaper in which Netanyahu allegedly requested positive coverage in exchange for reining in a free pro-Netanyahu daily.
The attorney general will now review the police conclusions and decide whether to file charges.
 


UN rebukes Europe for failing to allow rescued Arab migrants to land

Updated 8 min 20 sec ago
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UN rebukes Europe for failing to allow rescued Arab migrants to land

  • Private rescue ships have been restricted from conducting search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean
  • Libya, wracked by violence, is no refuge, the UNHCR said

GENEVA: UN aid agencies criticized European countries on Tuesday for not allowing migrants to disembark at safe ports, after more than 140 people rescued at sea were taken to a detention center in Misrata, Libya.

An estimated 170 migrants were lost in the Mediterranean in two incidents involving dinghies that left from Libya and Morocco, migrant organizations said on Saturday.

In all, 203 passengers have drowned at sea trying to reach Europe in January; 4,883 have arrived, mainly in Spain, Greece and Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

Private rescue ships have been restricted from conducting search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean, putting more lives unnecessarily at risk, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said.

“IOM confirmed yesterday (Monday) that the Sierra Leonean flagged cargo vessel Lady Sham returned 144 rescued migrants to Libya. It remains unclear when and from where these individuals departed,” IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a Geneva briefing.

“IOM staff counted 26 women and four children among those rescued and taken to a detention center in Misrata,” he said.

Libya, wracked by violence, is no refuge, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said.

“In Libya’s current context, where outbreaks of violence and widespread human rights violations prevail, no rescued refugees and migrants should be returned there,” said UNHCR spokesman Charlie Yaxley.

“It has been well-documented at this point that the people in these detention centers face pretty appalling treatment, many report going hungry for days on end, not being able to receive dire urgent medical care that they require; others allege to have been tortured,” he said.

Matteo Salvini, Italy’s interior minister, who has closed off Italian ports to humanitarian rescue vessels since a populist government came to power in mid-2018, has said the ports would remain closed to deter human traffickers.

UNHCR denounced “politicking around sea rescues” by European states that have restricted aid groups from conducting missions.

“Currently, rescue at sea has been taken hostage by politics... decisive leadership that taps into fundamental values of humanity and compassion is sorely needed,” Yaxley said.