PM to Greek president: If you want to free Gaza, free it from Hamas(Israel Hayom/Today)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets Greek President Karolos Papoulias in Israel, thanks him for stopping the flotilla and sending aid during the Carmel fires • Papoulias asks for advice over his country's economic crisis.
Warm ties between Israel and Greece were further strengthened Monday as a delegation headed by Greek President Karolos Papoulias received a hearty Israeli welcome. Papoulias spent much of the day in meetings with Israeli government officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni.
The resounding refrain from the Israelis was gratitude for Greece's assistance in obstructing the recent Gaza-bound flotilla, as well as for Greece’s role in helping to battle Israel's Carmel forest fire last December.
“We have a deep friendship with Greece,” Netanyahu said after meeting with Papoulias. “We will continue to strengthen that friendship, both in economics as well as in tourism.”
Netanyahu also took advantage of his time with Papoulias to discuss the Gaza Strip, where he noted that the economic growth rate is 25 percent and that all food items can enter freely. “Those who want to free Gaza should work to free it from Hamas' rule, which brutalizes the peace activists there,” he said.