U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett

Biden to visit Israel in the coming months, Bennett's office says

White House says POTUS accepts PM's invitation and 'affirms unwavering support for Israel and its defense needs' after leaders discuss Jerusalem violence and Iran

Itamar Eichner, Reuters |
Published: 04.24.22, 21:34
U.S. President Joe Biden will visit Israel in the coming months, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's Office and the White House said on Sunday.
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  • According to a White House readout of the phone call, the two leaders discussed "shared regional and global security challenges, including the threat posed by Iran and its proxies".
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    נפתלי בנט
    נפתלי בנט
    U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett
    (Photo: Reuters, GettyImages)
    The Israeli side's statement underlined its opposition to Iran's demand to remove its powerful paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) from the U.S. Foreign Terror Organization (FTO) list as part of the ongoing negotiations between Tehran and world powers on reviving a nuclear pact meant to curb its nuclear program.
    "I am sure that President Biden, who is a true friend of Israel and cares about its security, will not allow the IRGC to be removed from the list of terrorist organizations. Israel has clarified its position on the issue: The IRGC is the largest terrorist organization in the world," Bennett was quoted as saying.
    Bennett briefed Biden on efforts "to stop the violence and incitement in Jerusalem," Bennett's office said in a statement, in reference to Israeli-Palestinian clashes at the holy city's al-Aqsa Mosque.
    At least 57 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli police within the mosque compound on Friday, raising concern of a repeat of last year's war between Israel and the Hamas Islamists ruling Gaza.
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    פלסטינים מנופפים בדגלי פלסטין וחמאס בהר הבית
    פלסטינים מנופפים בדגלי פלסטין וחמאס בהר הבית
    Palestinian flying Hamas flags at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem
    (Photo: AFP)
    U.S. officials have been engaged with Israelis, Palestinians and Arab representatives in the region amid the tensions.
    Biden "took note of ongoing efforts between Israeli and Palestinian officials to lower tensions and ensure a peaceful conclusion to the holy season of Ramadan" and affirmed "his unwavering support for Israel and its defense needs," the White House said in its statement.
    Biden "also accepted an invitation to visit Israel over the coming months," the White House said, adding that the two leaders would stay in regular contact.
    Bennett visited Biden in Washington last summer.
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