Bennett: Israeli couple arrested in Turkey innocent

PM at Cabinet meeting says Israel doing everything to bring home couple arrested for 'espionage' in Turkey, calls to vaccinate children.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

PM Bennett
PM Bennett
Noam Moskowitz/Knesset spokesperson

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett commented at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday on the plight of the Israeli couple who were arrested in Turkey on charges of espionage.

"First, I would like to comment on the arrests of the Oknin couple in Turkey. The Foreign Minister and I, and additional officials, dealt with this throughout the weekend. These are two innocent civilians who have been mistakenly caught up in a complex situation. I spoke yesterday with the family and we are doing everything to resolve the issue. I asked that the family stay strong, despite the great difficulty. We are with you. Beyond this, it would not be proper to expand at the moment," Bennett said.

"On another matter, together with Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman, we are submitting a decision on significant assistance to Be'er Sheva and the communities of the Negev today. We will invest almost NIS 500 million in education, employment, reducing wage gaps, planning a public hospital, strengthening technology and innovation, developing transportation and creating rapid transportation from the center of the country to the south, infrastructures and the list is still long.

"I am pleased by this important decision, which expresses the policy of the government. We have spoken about investing in the Negev and here it is happening on the ground. As Ben-Gurion said, 'The people of Israel will be tested in the Negev.'

Turning to the issue of the coronavirus, Bennett said: "The coronavirus is running amok around the world, especially in Europe, where morbidity records are currently being broken. There are countries in Europe, like the Netherlands and Austria, which are returning to restrictions and lockdowns, while here in the State of Israel – everything is open. Therefore, we cannot rest on our laurels. We must continue to closely monitor the situation and continue to strictly follow the directives."

"Last Thursday, we held the national 'Omega' drill in order to plan for the scenario of a new strain of the virus. I want to commend everyone who participated in, and led, the drill, especially Defense Ministry Director of Civil Defense Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Moshe Edri, who has been working around the clock for months, in his quiet way, to manage the campaign against the coronavirus. We will not become complacent over the success in managing the fourth wave because we cannot know what awaits us around the corner.

"During the course of today, the vaccine for children in Israel will be approved. Of course, it is the choice of parents but I call on parents to safeguard their children and have them vaccinated. I will certainly take my young son, David, to get vaccinated as soon as it is possible. It could be that his mother will take him but we will take him to get vaccinated," Bennett concluded.