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Bennett on Iraqis’ call for normalization: ‘Israel extends its hand in peace’

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Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Saturday night that “Israel extends its hand back in peace” in response to a Friday meeting of over 300 prominent Iraqis calling for their country to normalize ties with the Jewish state.

“Hundreds of Iraqi public figures, Sunnis and Shiites, gathered yesterday to call for peace with Israel,” Bennett said in a tweet.

“This is a call that comes from below and not from above, from the people and not from the government, and the recognition of the historical injustice done to the Jews of Iraq is especially important.”

“The State of Israel extends its hand back in peace,” the prime minister added.

Iraqi leaders on Saturday strongly rejected the call for normalization by the prominent figures, calling the gathering an “illegal meeting.”

Iraq has officially been at war with Israel since the Jewish state was founded in 1948. Iraqi soldiers have fought in three successive Arab wars against Israel. Saddam Hussein’s secret nuclear weapons program alarmed Israel, which ultimately destroyed the Osirak reactor in Iraq in 1981, and in 1991, the Iraqi dictator fired dozens of Scud missiles at Tel Aviv and Haifa in an attempt to draw Israel into the Gulf War.

At Friday’s conference in the Kurdistan region, Iraqi participants called on their country’s leaders to........

© The Times of Israel

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