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Netanyahu postpones UAE visit after Ben-Gvir’s desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque

January 4, 2023 at 11:12 am

Israeli right wing Knesset member Itamar ben Gvir (R) chats with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) during the swearing in ceremony of the new Israeli government at the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in Jerusalem. [Photo by ABIR SULTAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has postponed his planned visit to the UAE following the desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque by far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir. According to local Hebrew-language media, the decision was taken after the Gulf State condemned Ben-Gvir’s provocative visit to the mosque in occupied Jerusalem.

Sources within Netanyahu’s office denied any such connection. Ynet News reported that the visit had been postponed due to logistical considerations.

READ: US slams far-right Israel Minister’s visit to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa complex

Netanyahu tried to arrange a visit to Abu Dhabi in early 2021, but the visit was postponed several times and eventually cancelled due to Jordan delaying the approval of his flight path over the Hashemite Kingdom and the timing close to an Israeli General Election.

Following the announcement of his latest coalition government last week, Netanyahu received an official invitation to visit the UAE from President Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. In a recent interview with US journalist Bari Weiss for her “Common Sense” podcast, Netanyahu said that his first official overseas visit after returning to power as Prime Minister would be to the UAE.

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