Israel inked several deals with the leaders of Australia and New Zealand this week amid commemorations of a key battle during World War I.
On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The leaders signed a memorandum of understanding to enable more cooperation between the two countries’ defense industries, including the potential for increased exports. They also pledged greater cooperation on cybersecurity.
“We have a vital interest in working more closely and intensely together to keep our people safe from terrorism and from the use of the internet,” Turnbull said.
On Tuesday, Netanyahu met with New Zealand Governor-General Patsy Reddy, as part of the first-ever visit to Israel by that officeholder. The countries signed a major aviation services agreement intended to establish air links—including direct routes between Israel and New Zealand, the right to fly in each other’s airspace, and stopover landing rights.
Meanwhile, the leaders of Israel, Australia and New Zealand visited Be’er Sheva on Tuesday to mark the 100th anniversary of a key battle fought by Australia and the New Zealand Army Corps in World War I. The battle helped pave the way for the ouster of the Ottoman Empire.
“We are here standing in the city of Abraham,” Netanyahu told the gathering of leaders in Be’er Sheva’s Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery. “Four-thousand years ago, our forefathers came here. Now, because of that day a hundred years ago, you see the modern city of Be’er Sheva, with the cyber headquarters, with the future in our hands. We have peace, prosperity and security, but it was made possible because of those heroes.”