Netanyahu disperses meeting, orders ministers attend Trump welcome ceremony
After the prime minister learns that several ministers have no intention of attending US President Donald Trump's welcome ceremony in Ben Gurion Airport on Monday, Netanyahu disperses a party leaders' meeting midway and announces that all ministers are 'required to attend' the ceremony.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dispersed the party leaders' meeting after ministers Moshe Kahlon, Yariv Levin and Miri Regev announced that they would not come to the welcome ceremony for US President Donald Trump in Ben Gurion Airport.
"If none of you is coming—from the way I see it this meeting is over," Netanyahu said, then addressed his Cabinet Secretary Zahi Braverman and told him to "speak to all the ministers and clarify to them that they are required to attend."
Several ministers apparently did not want to attend the ceremony after they were told that there won't actually get to meet Trump or speak to him and because they were told to arrive at the airport at 10:00—two hours before his plane lands—and they were reluctant to do so due to the closure of the roads.
In the meanwhile, the last preparations for the ceremony are being held in Ben Gurion Airport. Dozens of soldiers were rehearsing ahead of the welcome ceremony, set to start with the landing of Air Force 1 tomorrow after noon local time.
Police commissioner Roni Alsheikh visited the airport and examined the police preparedness. The American Black Hawk pilots who were specially flown to Israel in a convoy consisting of 45 Boeing C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft flew over Route 1 and the Jerusalem mountains as part of the preparations.
The Defense Ministry is in charge of the logistical preparations for the 40-minute ceremony. Among other things, a facility was built in the airport able to accommodate hundreds of guests, VIPs and officials and about 300 journalists from Israel and around the world
(Translated & edited by Lior Mor)