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Biden to meet with Netanyahu during visit to Israel

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and US President Joe Biden (R). (Flash90/AP)
Then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and US President Joe Biden (R). (Flash90/AP)

US President Joe Biden is slated to meet with opposition chairman Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to Israel next month, an official familiar with the matter tells The Times of Israel.

The meeting was not planned initially but has been added to the schedule following Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s decision to dissolve parliament and trigger elections in the fall. The Biden administration is keen on avoiding the perception that it is intervening in Israel’s election, according to the official.

Bennett aims to step aside as early as Monday when Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will become interim prime minister. The latter will greet Biden at Ben Gurion Airport on July 13 and hold several meetings with the president throughout the trip, the official said. Bennett will also have an opportunity to meet Biden, with whom he has built a rapport over the past year.

Lapid and Biden are only believed to have met once before, when the former was finance minister and the latter was vice president in 2013.

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