Israeli experts to help police secure towns


Israel Ambassador to Kenya Gil Haskel addresses a press conference at the embassy offices in Nairobi on November 18,2011. 

Israel is sending experts to Kenya to help police secure major towns and cities from possible terrorism attacks.

Israel ambassador Gil Haskel said the two countries had reached a pact that will see the latter flying in anti-terrorism experts to offer technical support to Kenyan security agencies. (READ: Israel pledges support for Kenya’s operation against terror group)

“Israel is willing to send consultants to Kenya to help Kenya secure its cities from terrorist threats and share experience with Kenya because the operation in Somalia is very similar to Israel’s operations in the past, first in Lebanon and then in Gaza Strip,” the envoy said.

The announcement came as Defence Minister Yusuf Haji said the government was only seeking the support of economic and political blocs such as Igad, the African Union, the European Union and the UN Security Council to fight the militants.

Contact any country

“We have not dealt with any individual State and neither have we asked for any assistance. As Minister for Defence in charge of the operation, I can tell you that there is not time when the Kenya Government has decided to contact any country except through Igad, AU, EU and the UN,” Mr Haji said.

“ We have told them that we need food and medical aid for the civilian population in the liberated areas. We have also told them that we have no expansionist intentions. I’m not aware of any other support for the military,” he added.

The agreement with Israel came as the government heightened its diplomatic offensive to rally the world around Kenya’s military operation to defeat Al-Shabaab.

So far, Kenya has managed to win the support of Igad and African Union member States as well as the UK and now, Israel, in its campaign against the militants.

The security agreement, signed during Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s tour of Israel is in response to recent grenade attacks in Nairobi, Garissa and Mandera by suspected Al-Shabaab elements retaliating against Kenya’s military operation.

“As you know Kenya has witnessed several terrorist attacks in its cities in recent weeks. The ongoing military operation in Somalia also poses risks of terrorist attacks,” the envoy said while briefing journalists on the PM’s visit to Israel.

Declined to discuss

The envoy however declined to discuss the specifics of the security agreement only stating that the anti-terrorism experts would jet into the country in the next few weeks.

Israeli’s involvement in the Kenyan offensive in Somalia is said to have caused jitters among the militants who went on a major recruitment campaign in their strongholds.

The militants immediately dispatched recruiting agents from mosque to mosque, telling potential followers that the Kenyan troops are bent on a religious crusade in Somalia and had teamed up with Israel to fight Islam.

They rallied their followers to take up arms and fight a Jihad (holy war) against the Kenyan troops.

Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula also travelled to Rabat, Morocco on Wednesday to engage members of the Arab League with a view to enlisting their support in the war against terror.