Biden discusses pressing issues with Bennett, accepts invitation to visit Israel

The American president told Bennett that he plans a trip to Israel in the coming months.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

In a phone conversation on Sunday evening, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett wished U.S. President Joe Biden a happy Easter and updated him on efforts to stop the violence and incitement in Jerusalem, the Israeli premier’s spokesperson said in a press release..

Since the start of Ramadan, Muslims have been rioting on the Temple Mount, desecrating the Al-Aqsa Mosque and throwing rocks and fireworks at police as well as at worshipers down at the Western Wall.

Israeli police were forced to enter the mosque when the violence got out of hand. As Foreign Minister Yair Lapid explained in a press briefing the same day, had Israeli security forces not entered the mosque, it would have been a “disaster.”

By taking action, Lapid said, the forces ensured peaceful services for the majority of Muslims who wished to pray at the site during the month of Ramadan.

Nonetheless, he continued, there has been “an unbelievable amount offake news” depicting the Israelis as the ones to blame for the violence and which has reached mainstream media.

As a result, the Jewish state was condemned not only by Hamas and other terror groups, but also by Jordan, the UAE and others, Lapid said.

Hamas also fired several rockets at Israel’s south in the past several days, and there is concern about a possible new escalation with Gaza.

“It is not Israel that endangered worshippers. It is the terrorist organizations who endangered them,” Lapid stressed, while expressing his disappointment with Jordan for defending the Palestinian rioters.

In their conversation Sunday, Biden and Bennett discussed “shared regional and global security challenges, including the threat posed by Iran and its proxies,” the White House stated.

“The two leaders emphasized the strong personal bond they have developed since the prime minister’s visit to Washington last summer,” the statement said.

“This personal relationship has animated the work of our diplomatic and national security teams, enabling both countries to arrive at common positions on difficult matters.”

Bennett and Biden discussed the Iranian issue, in particular the Iranian demand to remove the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps) from the US Foreign Terror Organization, Bennett’s spokesperson said.

“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 stated.

The president accepted Bennett’s invitation to visit Israel and announced that he intends to visit in the coming months, the spokesperson said.