PMi Bennett
PMi Bennett Amos Ben Gershom/GPO

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke of his visit to Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and Berlin to meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz yesterday at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday.

"I returned from Moscow and Berlin a few hours ago. I went there to assist the dialogue between all of the sides, of course with the blessing and encouragement of all players," Bennett said.

"As you all know, the situation on the ground is not good. The human suffering is great and is liable to be much greater. There are also Israelis who need to return home and Jewish communities in distress that need help..

"Naturally, I cannot expand further. We will continue to assist as requested," he stated.

Bennett said that any chance Israel has at facilitating an end to the war, no matter how slim, must be taken. "Even if the chance is not great — as soon as there is even a small opening, and we have access to all sides and the capability — I see this as our moral obligation to make every effort.. As long as the candle is burning, we must make an effort and perhaps it will yet be possible to act."

"We are prepared for a significant wave of immigration as a result of the situation. The system is currently working on scenarios to absorb varying numbers of immigrants, which will be presented to the Security Cabinet this week. This is a challenge for the State of Israel but it is a challenge we have met in the past, time and again.

"At such moments, when the world is facing turmoil and Jews are no longer safe where they are, everyone is reminded how important it is that there is a home for Jews wherever they are; how important it is that we have the State of Israel.

Regarding talks on a return to the Vienna nuclear agreement, Bennett said: "A significant and positive thing occurred over the weekend: IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi visited Tehran and decided not to accede to the Iranian demand to close the open files under political pressure. This is an important professional decision by the IAEA and Grossi, who did not respond to Iranian pressure.

"Our position regarding the agreement is well-known. The disadvantages of the agreement far outweigh its advantages. In any case, the agreement does not obligate the State of Israel in any way," Bennett concluded.

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