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Israeli Embassy in Washington instructed not to handle War Cabinet Minister Gantz's visit

Netanyahu does not authorize the National Unity chairman's trip and it will not be authorized by the government

Minister Benny Gantz speaks during a press conference at the Ministry of Defense, in Tel Aviv. Dec. 16, 2023. (Photo: Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

After Prime Minister Netanyahu did not approve Minister Benny Gantz's trip to Washington on Sunday, and because it will not be approved by the government, the Israeli Embassy in Washington was instructed not to handle arrangements for Gantz, and Amb. Michael Herzog is not expected to participate in the visit.

Minister Dudi Amsalem attacked Gantz after he departed for the United States: "You have entered the government to create unity in an emergency, and not to be a Trojan horse. Your trip this morning is in complete violation of the government's regulations, you are the one who always cries that agreements are being violated. The Americans probably see you as the address to lead the process of [establishing] a Palestinian state and the cessation of fighting in Gaza. To remind you, you have entered the emergency government to create a consensus during the war, not to stop the IDF from winning it and to create an opportunity to lead the process of establishing a Palestinian state that will annihilate the State of Israel."

The National Unity chairman informed Netanyahu on Friday of his intention to fly to a series of meetings in Washington without his authorization and requested to coordinate messages. In response, the prime minister scolded him: "There is only one prime minister." Netanyahu was unaware of Gantz’s intentions up until then, and messages have not yet been coordinated between the two.

Gantz is expected to meet on Monday with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

In addition, the minister is expected to hold a meeting with Congress members from the Republican and Democratic parties and senior members of the AIPAC lobby. Gantz is expected to return to Israel on Wednesday, after another diplomatic visit to Britain.

Among the goals of the visit: strengthening the strategic alliance between Israel and the United States; preserving the legitimacy of Israel's continued ground operation in Gaza; and promoting a security arrangement with Lebanon, as well as increasing U.S. pressure on the mediators regarding the hostages' release outline, following the principles established at the Paris summit.

In addition, as part of the meetings, a discussion will be held on the issue of normalization, which will be part of the political plan to eradicate the rule of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. In addition, Gantz is expected to discuss America's guarantee of aid, which is vital to Israel's security.

Amichai Stein is a political correspondent for KAN 11.

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