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Netanyahu avoids Likud meeting

Israel's Likud Central Committee meeting was held yesterday despite efforts exerted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to abort it as he called for his ministers and Likud officials not to attend.

The committee head and Member of the Knesset Danny Danon, who was dismissed from his position as deputy defence minister by Netanyahu during the war on Gaza because he was an outspoken critic of the prime minister's policies, was the prominent speaker in the meeting. He was greeted as upcoming prime minister.

Instead of attending the committee meeting, Netanyahu choose to attend an event in Petah Tikvah in honour of the upcoming Jewish New Year, which was also attended by most of his ministers and senior MK members.

Likud activists said that Netanyahu evaded the meeting in order to avoid any embarrassment that may be caused by questions about the results of the war on Gaza and because he feared being heckled during his speech.

A number of senior Likud leaders, including Avi Dichter and Moshe Feiglin attended the committee's meeting, in addition to a number of municipal heads.

Danon said that Netanyahu should not fear attending the meeting, noting he had asked Netanyahu to put off his meeting in Petah Tikvah, but he never received a reply.

Repercussions of the Israeli war on Gaza, observers said, are still posing a threat to Netanyahu's factional and government coalitions. The war undermined Netanyahu's control over his party and government.

Danon said he aims to have Netanyahu investigated by the Likud Central Committee regarding the war on Gaza and its results.

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