Bennett holds first phone call with Merkel, invites her to visit Israel

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who his office says called to congratulate him on forming a new government and becoming premier.

While thanking her, Bennett also notes “the opportunity to strengthen ties between the countries,” expresses his appreciation for Germany’s “commitment to Israel’s security” and for backing Israel’s right to defend itself during last month’s fighting against Palestinian terrorists in Gaza, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

He also invites Merkel — who is set to step down as chancellor after general elections in September — to visit Israel.

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