“In light of the situation in the south, the prime minister decided to stay in Israel next week and therefore canceled his trip to Colombia,” Netanyahu’s spokesperson stated.
By: World Israel News Staff
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday canceled his trip to Colombia due to mounting tensions in the south.
Netanyahu was slated to travel to Colombia next week to attend the inauguration ceremony of the country’s new president, Iván Duque. During his three-day stay in Bogota scheduled for August 6-9, Netanyahu was also expected to meet with various regional leaders, including the presidents of Argentina, Honduras and Guatemala.
“In light of the situation in the south, the prime minister decided to stay in Israel next week and therefore canceled his trip to Colombia,” his spokesperson stated.
This is the first time in years that Netanyahu has canceled a trip abroad because of the security situation in the country, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Tensions on Israel’s border with Gaza have been extremely high in recent months, with the south plagued by daily airborne arson fire and the IDF encountering several terror attacks. In one such attack, Staff Sgt. Aviv Levi was killed by a Palestinian sniper.
The Ha’aretz daily reported that Netanyahu’s cancellation comes amid a pending agreement between the Palestinian Fatah and Hamas factions, mediated by the United Nations and Egypt, in an attempt to reach a deal between the two parties.
A reconciliation between the two feuding parties could affect the situation on the border with Gaza.
Nikolay Mladenov, the UN special envoy to the Middle East, said the prospects of reaching a deal on restoring calm between Israel and the Palestinians are “positive.”