Netanyahu said blocking Gallant from visiting US until PM gets an invite

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant at the IDF's Northern Command headquarters on January 10, 2023. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant at the IDF's Northern Command headquarters on January 10, 2023. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has twice blocked Defense Minister Yoav Gallant from traveling to the US in recent weeks, apparently because the premier has not yet received an invitation to the White House, Channel 12 reports.

The report, citing an American and an Israeli source, says Netanyahu indicated to Gallant that he should not accept two invitations to Washington and New York for meetings with security officials.

The report says that the defense minister being barred from the US, Israel’s principal ally, was unusual and could have security implications.

However, the report also noted that Gallant has met top US defense officials in Israel in recent weeks.

The White House has so far refrained from inviting Netanyahu amid concern over his government’s judicial overhaul and far-right agenda.

Gallant’s office refused to comment on the report, while Netanyahu’s office called the report inaccurate.

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