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Photo: Reuters
Netanyahu says Trump administration offers 'huge opportunities'
Speaking at a Likud faction meeting, the prime minister urged the right flank of his coalition against ‘dictating’ or ‘surprises,’ including initiatives involving the annexation of Ma’ale Adumim; ‘Now is the time for responsible diplomacy with friends,’ not ‘knee-jerk reactions.’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his opposition to members of the right-wing flank of his coalition government, warning against initiating steps to annex Ma’ale Adumim on Monday afternoon.

 

 

Speaking at a Likud party faction meeting, Netanyahu said: “We have before us massive and significant opportunities for the security and future of the State of Israel. But they require responsibility from us and common sense so that we don’t miss them—neither the hour or the opportunities.”

 

PM Netanyahu (Photo: Amit Shabi) (Photo: Amit Shabi)
PM Netanyahu (Photo: Amit Shabi)

 

This was not the time, Netanyahu continued, for what he described as “knee-jerk” reactions or “dictating or for surprises. This is the time for responsible and intelligent diplomacy with friends, diplomacy that will strengthen the cooperation between us and restore the faith in the government of Israel and the new administration in Washington for the betterment of the State of Israel.”

 

The statement was largely intended for the consumption of Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett, who has been spearheading a bill to impose sovereignty on Ma’ale Adumim, adding notable impetus behind the proposal since President Trump was elected in November.

 

Bennett, who serves as Education Minister in Netanyahu’s government, made headlines when he began calling for immediate annexation and declaring the era of a two-state solution dead with Trump’s ascent to the White House.

 

He also said that he had spoken to President Trump on the phone on Sunday night for half an hour. “During the conversation, he invited me to meet with him in Washington as soon as possible,” the prime minister told his party members.

 

“I place great importance on this meeting. It is important for the State of Israel. It is also important for the continued strengthening of personal trust between us, the president of the US and me, the prime minister of Israel.

 

“I feel the expectations that are coming from the majority of Israeli citizens. This is obvious after eight years in which I was placed under enormous pressure on a string of issues, the most important of which was Iran.”

 

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