As tensions flare, Netanyahu says Trump wall tweet wasn’t about Mexico
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As tensions flare, Netanyahu says Trump wall tweet wasn’t about Mexico

PM accuses ‘left-wing, Bolshevik’ media of manufacturing crisis with ‘fake news,’ ‘character assassination’; Mexican foreign minister says Twitter post ‘felt like aggressive act’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures during a meeting with Likud party members at the Knesset on January 30, 2017.  AFP/ MENAHEM KAHANA)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures during a meeting with Likud party members at the Knesset on January 30, 2017. AFP/ MENAHEM KAHANA)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday denied he had expressed support for US President Donald Trump’s push for a border wall with Mexico, after a tweet by the Israeli leader sparked a diplomatic crisis between Jerusalem and Mexico City.

At the same time, Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray reportedly called on Netanyahu to apologize, saying his comments “felt like an act of aggression.”

“We hope that Israel’s government will be sensitive enough to correct Netanyahu’s statement,” Videgaray said.

On Saturday night, Netanyahu appeared to back Trump’s plan, pointing to Israel’s success in reducing illegal migration with the construction of a border fence with Egypt.

“President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea,” Netanyahu wrote in English on Twitter on Saturday, in a post that drew an angry response from Mexico.

On Monday, the prime minister told the weekly Likud faction meeting he was merely responding to Trump’s praise for the Egypt border in the social media post, which was later retweeted by the US president.

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