Israel and Kenya to boost security partnership in terror fight

What you need to know:

  • Kenya calls on other African States to forge closer ties with Israel in order to benefit from partnership, especially on the security front.
  • Tel Aviv will help build Kenya’s health capacity in specialised medical services and emergency preparedness following the signing of a pact.
  • Mr Netanyahu said Israel will work with Kenya to gain a foothold in the region as Africa rises economically.

Kenyan security troops are set to benefit from increased training, equipment and intelligence sharing with Israel to boost their combat capability in the war against terrorism.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said Tuesday that visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had pledged this in their bilateral meeting to further help strengthen Kenya’s army.

Nairobi already receives military support from Tel Aviv.

Mr Netanyahu is on a three-day state visit to Nairobi.

“We have established partnership in fighting terrorism and we will benefit from strategic intelligence,” said Mr Kenyatta in a televised joint briefing at State House.

Kenya has recently suffered a spate of deadly bomb and gun attacks on civilians and soldiers by Somalia-based Al Shabaab militants who are demanding removal of Kenyan troops from the horn of Africa State.

Israel boasts of Mossad, the country’s intelligence agency, which gathers information to pre-empt terror attacks.

“We will share our intelligence with our friends in Kenya and Africa,” said Mr Netanyahu.

Tel Aviv will help build Kenya’s health capacity in specialised medical services and emergency preparedness following the signing of a pact.

The meeting also saw the two leaders agree to mutually exempt Kenyan and Israeli diplomats from having visas on their diplomatic passports when visiting the two countries.

Food security

Israel followed through on its February promise to absorb more Kenyan students from 30 to 45 to study water technology, modern irrigation and agriculture in the Middle East nation.

A group of 40 students left for Israel on Tuesday.

Tel Aviv is food secure due to use of modern irrigation technology and exports the commodity despite being in the middle of a desert.

The Israeli PM said his Africa visit should send a strong signal as a quest for renewed relations with the continent.

Mr Netanyahu leaves Kenya Wednesday morning to Rwanda before heading to Ethiopia.

President Kenyatta called on other African States to forge closer ties with Israel, saying the continent stands to benefit more from the partnership, especially on the security front.

He visited the Middle East nation in February where a number of deals were struck, including in agriculture, education, water and security.

“The single biggest challenge that we face as a community of nations is the threat against our security posed by deranged people who don’t believe in any religion,” he said.

“It will be foolhardy for one to sit back and say, faced with this challenge that Kenya or Africa cannot engage Israel in this matter. That is behaving like an Ostrich that buries its head in the sand,” he added.

President Kenyatta said that he will push for Israel to regain her observer position in African Union.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.