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Friday 9 December 2016

Benjamin Netanyahu denies reports of assassination attempt in Kenya

Published 07/07/2016 | 12:41

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, left, at Kigali International Airport in Rwanda (AP)
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, left, at Kigali International Airport in Rwanda (AP)

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied reports of an attempt on his life in Kenya during his African tour this week.

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Mr Netanyahu said he knew "nothing" of an assassination attempt and said he was learning about it for the first time during a press conference with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in Addis Ababa.

"The answer is we know nothing about it because there is nothing in it," Mr Netanyahu said.

He made the remarks in response to a reporter's question.

The Israeli prime minister is protected by heavy security in Israel and overseas, given high threats against Israeli targets around the world. Israel's fifth prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish extremist in Tel Aviv in 1995.

Mr Netanyahu's four-nation Africa visit this week is the first to sub-Saharan Africa by a sitting Israeli prime minister in nearly three decades. He has visited Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda while pursuing closer security and other ties with African nations.

In exchange for its expertise in security and other fields, Israel also wants African states to support it at the United Nations, where the Palestinians were recognised as a non-member observer state in 2012.

Israel played a prominent role in assisting newly independent African countries in the 1960s, but those relations crumbled in the 1970s when Arab countries, promising aid, pressured African nations to limit or cut ties.

AP

Press Association

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