War cabinet member Benny Gantz to visit Washington, meet with VP Harris on ceasefire

War cabinet member Benny Gantz to visit Washington, meet with VP Harris on ceasefire

Middle East Eye reports:

US Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz at the White House on Monday, despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s disapproval.

Gantz agreed to the trip as Washington seeks to reach a deal for a temporary ceasefire and increase the flow of aid to Gaza.

A senior figure close to Netanyahu told Haaretz newspaper that the leader did not sanction the meeting.

“The prime minister made it clear to Gantz last night that he does not approve of his trip to Washington. Any official trip abroad by a minister that is not private but rather in an official capacity requires approval from the prime minister,” the senior figure was quoted as saying.

The talks, first reported by Reuters, are expected to span topics including reducing Palestinian civilian casualties, securing a temporary ceasefire, the release of Israeli captives held in Gaza and increasing aid to the enclave, a White House official said.

“The vice president will express her concern over the safety of the as many as 1.5 million people in Rafah,” the official said, adding that Israel also had a “right to defend itself in the face of continued Hamas terrorist threats”.

A statement from Gantz confirmed that he would meet with Harris, as well as with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Republican and Democratic members of US Congress.

“Minister Gantz personally updated the prime minister on his own initiative on Friday of his intention to travel, in order to coordinate the messages to be transmitted in the meetings,” the statement said.

Gantz, Israel’s former military chief and defence minister, is Netanyahu’s main political rival in opinion polls. [Continue reading…]

Comments are closed.