Blue and White leader Benny Gantz sits in his Tel Aviv office, Sept. 12. 2019
Defense Minister Benny Gantz
Photo: AP
Defense Minister Benny Gantz

Gantz holds secret talks with Jordan's King Abdullah

Defense minister tells Blue & White supporters that Netanyahu is unwelcome in the kingdom, hampering advancement of bilateral ties; FM also reported to have held meetings with Jordanian counterpart in recent months

Itamar Eichner |
Published: 02.28.21 , 12:15
Defense Minister Benny Gantz recently travelled secretly to Jordan for talks with King Abdullah on Iran and other issues concerning the region, Ynet has learned.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter

  • According to sources, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi has also met twice meetings with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi in recent months.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Blue and White leader Benny Gantz sits in his Tel Aviv office, Sept. 12. 2019
    Blue and White leader Benny Gantz sits in his Tel Aviv office, Sept. 12. 2019
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz
    (Photo: AP)
    In a conference call Friday with members of his Blue & White party, Gantz hinted that he had been in contact with Jordanian officials and said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was an unwelcome figure in the kingdom.
    He said that he hoped relations with the neighboring country would improve. Jordan became the second Arab nation to sign a peace treaty with Israel in a 1994 ceremony on the border of the two countries.
    "The ties with Jordan are a huge asset and could be a thousand times better," Gantz said, claiming that he has an ongoing relationship with the king and senior Jordanian officials.
    "Unfortunately, Netanyahu is unwelcome in Jordan and is hampering the furtherment of relations," he said.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Jordan's King Abdullah meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    Jordan's King Abdullah meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    Jordan's King Abdullah meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Amman in 2014
    (Photo: AP)
    During the call with Blue & White members, Gantz lashed out at the prime minister, saying he was attempting to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat "as if it were his own personal property."
    He accused Netanyahu of sidelining the Mossad intelligence agency, the Foreign Ministry and even the IDF when it came to handling the Iranian threat.
    "Mossad and the IDF have been displaying creativity, independent of Netanyahu," Gantz said.
    "We are building an offensive, defensive and intelligence response and will know how best to protect Israel," he said.
    The defense minister said that Israel must work to thwart Iranian plans to acquire a nuclear weapon through "an ongoing dialogue with the U.S. and Europe as well as with Arab countries that share our concerns and interests."
    He said that there must be a unified effort by Israel and its "friends" on this issue.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    מטוסי הF35 של חיל האויר ייתנו מענה מבצעי לאיום טילי השיוט האיראניים
    מטוסי הF35 של חיל האויר ייתנו מענה מבצעי לאיום טילי השיוט האיראניים
    U.S. advanced F-35 stealth fighter
    (Photo: Lockheed Martin)
    Regarding the sale of sophisticated weaponry to regional states, which was the initiative of former president Donald Trump, Gantz said that he has taken steps to ensure Israel's qualitative edge.
    The Biden administration has already announced it would be reviewing the decision to sell advanced weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE promised by Trump as part of the Abraham Accords signed last September.
    The defense minister also said Israel would benefit from providing coronavirus vaccines to the Palestinian Authority.
    "It is in our interest, both politically and from the humanitarian aspect, that Palestinians receive the coronavirus vaccines, as more than 100,000 of them are entering Israel for work on a daily basis," he said.
    "This is why we must do all we can to assist them in obtaining the shots and to examine how we can help them in any other way," Gantz said.
    Talkbacks for this article 0