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Report: Netanyahu ignored warnings from aides, ministers to not publicly criticise US

June 21, 2024 at 11:54 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl military cemetery on 13 May, 2024 [COHEN-MAGEN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly ignored warnings from close aides and ministers to not publicly criticise the administration of US President Joe Biden, Israeli media outlets reported.

Israel’s Channel 13 revealed that a secret meeting was held before Netanyahu’s video statement on Tuesday. In it, he accused Washington of blocking arms shipments to Israel, calling it “inconceivable”. National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi, Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer and other officials unequivocally objected to Netanyahu’s intention.

According to the channel, Dermer asked the prime minister to wait before criticising the US until he and Hanegbi met with US officials at the White House on Thursday.

Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and Israeli Army Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi have also opposed revealing the dispute publicly, preferring instead to deal with matters privately due to fears that a public dispute with Washington might benefit Hamas and Hezbollah.

The Israeli channel quoted an unnamed senior Israeli official stating: “Netanyahu made the decision against the opinion of the advisers and ministers with whom he consulted,” explaining that the prime minister’s remarks caused “great outrage in the Biden administration”.

Israeli Haaretz newspaper reported that US officials have accused Netanyahu of “ungratefulness”, denying any detention of withholding any arms shipments other than a shipment of heavy bombs that the Biden administration had withheld due to fears of using them in densely populated areas in Rafah in southern Gaza Strip.

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