Yisrael Katz
Yisrael Katz Kobi Richter, TPS

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz on Monday spoke to 103 FM Radio about the novel coronavirus, and how Israel can help China.

'My guidelines were clear: We don't put civilians in danger," Katz said. "Diplomatic ties are very important and our relationship with China is extremely important, but first of all we need to ensure a safe area which is as large as possible to prevent the virus from spreading in Israel."

"I applaud our diplomats in China, who are doing amazing work. We need to ensure our health and do as much as we can so that there will not be infections here. A situation in which there are dozens of people infected here is a completely different reality, and we are trying to prevent that in any way possible."

Are there ways that Israel can help China?

"I have told the Director-General of my office to turn to the relevant parties in China in order to manufacture masks for them, but first of all we need to ensure that here in Israel we have enough equipment prepared in case the virus makes its way to Israel."

Regarding the indictment submitted against Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Katz said: "I went around with Netanyahu during the primaries, and the public received him with great friendship. I want to see another leader arrive to find a thousand people waiting for him outside in the winter's cold. There's true friendship here. I see the people and their understanding. We're only comparing and contrasting the alternatives."

When asked about the recent rocket fire on southern Israel, Katz said: "I will not make peace with this kind of reality, in which there are Class A and Class B citizens. I initiated the idea of separation immediately after the Disengagement (in 2005 - ed.), which was a mistake. This came to a head in the debate with [Yisrael Beytenu Chairman MK Avigdor] Liberman. The US plan includes an island which will be constructed opposite Gaza. Only when the international community builds the island and Israel is allowed to supervise the sea and port with the rules be different. Under the current rules, the IDF is acting."

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