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Netanyahu prevented heads of Mossad, Shin Bet meeting US officials

May 20, 2024 at 8:51 am

Israeli Parliament Speaker Amir Ohana, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and President Isaac Herzog attend a ceremony marking Holocaust Remembrance Day in Jerusalem on May 6, 2024. [AMIR COHEN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has prevented senior officials from meeting with American officials in an attempt to control the messages received by US President Joe Biden’s administration regarding the war on Gaza.

America’s Axios and Israel’s Walla websites reported the US administration saying they believe Netanyahu “seems to be trying to control what American politicians and diplomats hear from Israel.”

Axios’s report revealed that Netanyahu prevented the directors of the Mossad, David Barnea, and Shin Bet, Ronen Bar, from meeting with the acting Chairman of the Intelligence Committee in the US Congress, Senator Marco Rubio, during his visit to Israel three weeks ago.

It pointed out that Netanyahu prevented many meetings and talks that were scheduled between Israeli security and intelligence officials and their counterparts in the Biden administration or in US Congress from being held since 7 October.

American and Israeli officials believe that the reason for this is the prime minister’s desire to control the information that members of Congress and senior officials in the Biden administration receive from Tel Aviv.

This comes at a time when Netanyahu’s government is “deeply divided over his war strategy and relations with the US are growing more tense.”

The report stated that Senator Rubio, who is considered a great supporter of Israel, visited Israel during the Jewish Passover holiday, and requested to meet with the directors of the Mossad and Shin Bet as part of his work as acting Chairman of the Intelligence Committee in the US Congress.

During the visit, which took place at the end of April, Netanyahu met with Rubio, but did not allow him to hold meetings with the leaders of the security and intelligence services. Netanyahu’s office and Rubio’s office declined to comment on the report.

Read: Netanyahu says Israel not enslaved to US