Israel has pledged to help Kenyan fight the threat posed by Somalia’s al-Shabab militant group which have allegedly encroached into its territory and seized westerners.
The office of Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga said that while visiting Israel, Odinga received an offer from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to rid [Kenya’s] territory of fundamentalist elements.”
In October, Kenya dispatched soldiers into Somalia to fight al-Shabab, an Islamic militant group that controls wide swathes of Somalia and is believed to be linked to al-Qaeda.
Both Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres have emphasized that Kenya is a critical ally for Israel and crucial to the stability of East Africa.
Netanyahu stated that Kenya's enemies are Israel's enemies. We have similar forces planning to bring us down. I see it as an opportunity to strengthen ties.
Netanyahu also accepted Odinga’s invitation to visit Kenya early next year.
Similarly, Peres said: “Kenya has stood on the side of Israel at its hour of need. Consistently, Kenya has shown a very positive attitude towards Israel and Israel is ready to help.”
Kenya and Israel have had diplomatic relations since 1963 and many Kenyans have studied and trained in Israel. Relations were served in 1973 during the Yom Kippur war and were not restored until 1988.
In 2002, at least 15 people died in a suicide bomb attack that targeted an Israeli-owned hotel on the Kenyan coastal resort of Mombasa.