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Israeli Cabinet meeting agenda changed following US pressure

The meeting, originally meant to focus on the rise of terrorist violence in Jenin, instead reportedly focused on on recent settler violence.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a Cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on June 18, 2023. Photo by Amit Shabi/POOL.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a Cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on June 18, 2023. Photo by Amit Shabi/POOL.

The agenda of a special Cabinet meeting on Tuesday was changed due to U.S. pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The meeting, attended by Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, was originally to have focused on the rising violence in Jenin and how to address it.

Instead, it became a meeting on Jewish settler violence. 

Officials told Israel Hayom they were surprised to learn of the change, which they said was made following U.S. pressure. Similar pressure was also exerted by the European Union on the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office, they said. 

The sources criticized Gallant, however, saying he was “more preoccupied with settler violence than Palestinian terrorism.”

Shortly before Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, Gallant said he had met with the head of the Palestinian Authority’s General Authority of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh and “harshly condemned” the recent violence. 

According to a Defense Ministry statement, “The two discussed the recent increase in terror incidents as well as the common need to calm the situation on the ground.”

Gallant stressed that the Defense Ministry will act to thwart terrorism “wherever required” and emphasized the need to act against terror hubs that seek to destabilize the region.

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