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Gantz accepts Trump invitation, opts for private meeting without Netanyahu

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief political rival confirmed Saturday he has accepted President Donald Trump’s invitation to Washington, and will meet the president before the unveiling of the administration’s long-awaited peace plan.

Benny Gantz was initially inclined to accept the joint invitation that Vice President Mike Pence extended to both him and Netanyahu two days ago in Jerusalem. Given the upcoming Israeli election on March 2, and the desire to present a united front to what is expected to be a favorable plan for Israel, Netanyahu said he suggested including Gantz at the summit.

But over the weekend, Gantz’s camp began leaking that he would likely decline, fearing that Netanyahu was using the meeting as an electoral ploy to upstage Gantz in Washington and re-focus the campaign away from his indictment on corruption charges.

The two leaders remain deadlocked after two inconclusive elections in 2019 and are engaged in another heated campaign.

In weekend consultations with his advisers, Gantz apparently decided he would meet with Trump, but only in a private meeting on Monday, after which he plans to return to Israel immediately to lead the parliamentary hearing on Tuesday seeking to reject Netanyahu’s plea for immunity from Israeli lawmakers.

“The peace plan devised by President Trump will go down in history as a meaningful landmark mapping the way for the different players in the Middle East to finally move forward toward an historic and regional agreement,” Gantz said in a live TV address. “These are fateful times, both for Israel’s border and character as well as its democratic fabric. Therefore, I have decided to accept the invitation extended to me by President Trump and meet with him in person this Monday as the leader of the largest party in Israel.”

The plan, which would be rolled out as Trump’s Senate impeachment trial continues on Capitol Hill, is expected to be favorable to Israel and offer it control over large parts of Judea and Samaria. The Palestinians seek the entire territory, which represents for Israel the “biblical heartland”

Historically, Judea and Samaria were inhabited by the Jewish people hundreds of years before the Muslim conquest of the territory, which had been renamed “Palestine” by the Romans.

The modern state of Israel acquired the territory in 1967 after defeating Jordan in a war during which four Arab nations attacked the Jewish state.

Netanyahu has said he plans to annex the Jordan Valley as well as Jewish towns across Judea and Samaria, which would all but extinguish any possibility of creating a viable Palestinian state.

Shortly before Gantz spoke, Netanyahu issued a statement lauding Trump and saying “an opportunity such as this comes once in history and cannot be missed.”

After announcing he would meet Trump, Gantz reiterated his critique of Netanyahu.

“To promote the ‘deal of the century’ we need to be united under a prime minister who has public legitimacy to implement it,” he said, adding that one under indictment could not be trusted to do so.   ( Please Pray for the Israel )


本尼·甘茨(Benny Gantz)起初倾向于接受副总统迈克·彭斯(Mike Pence)两天前在耶路撒冷向他和内塔尼亚胡共同发出的联合邀请。内塔尼亚胡说,鉴于以色列即将在 3月 2日举行大选,并希望就有望对以色列有利的计划呈现统一战线,他建议在峰会上包括甘茨。


两位领导人在 2019年两次不确定的选举后仍然陷入僵局,并参与了另一场激烈的竞选活动。


甘茨在电视直播讲话中说:“特朗普总统制定的和平计划将成为具有历史意义的里程碑,为中东不同参与者最终迈向历史性和区域性协议铺平道路。” “对于以色列的边界,品格及其民主架构而言,这是命运的命运。因此,我决定接受特朗普总统发出的邀请,并在本周一作为以色列最大政党的领导人亲自与他会晤。”









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