Benjamin Netanyahu rejects call for Israel to take in Syrian refugees


Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected a call to allow Syrian refugees into the country.

Mr Netanyahu told cabinet colleagues that Israel was not indifferent to the plight facing the refugees.

But, according to Israeli media, he warned: “Israel is a small country, and we do not have the geographic and demographic depths [to absorb them].

He added that Israel must control it borders to prevent “ migrant worker infiltrators or generators of terror" from entering. Construction of a fence on its eastern border would be begin immediately, he said.

Mr Netanyahu pointed out that Israel had provided aid to refugees and had treated 1,000 in hospitals.

His remarks came after opposition leader Isaac Herzog urged the government to let in refugees.

Mr Herzog said: "I call on the government of Israel to act toward receiving refugees from the war in Syria, in addition to the humanitarian efforts it is already making.

"Jews cannot be indifferent while hundreds of thousands of refugees are looking for safe haven."

In a Facebook post Mr Herzog responded to Mr Netanyahu’s remarks by telling him. "You've forgotten what it means to be Jews”.

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