Netanyahu seeks to reschedule US meeting after blasting Biden’s ‘very, very bad move’

Just days after nixing planned delegation to Washington in protest of UN vote, Netanyahu reportedly asks Biden administration to reschedule meeting.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

The Israeli government has asked the Biden administration to reschedule a planned meeting in Washington, just days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the meeting cancelled in protest of the recent United Nations Security Council vote demanding an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

On Monday, after the U.S. mission to the UN declined to utilize the American veto, allowing a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, Netanyahu nixed plans to dispatch a delegation to Washington to discuss the much-anticipated IDF operation in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah.

On Wednesday, however, a U.S. official cited in reports published by NBC News and Reuters said that the Israeli government is now seeking to reschedule the trip, and has reached out to the White House.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby had told reporters at a White House press briefing Monday evening that the Biden administration was “perplexed” by Israel’s response to the UN vote.

“We’re kind of perplexed by this” decision, since “our vote does not – I repeat – does not represent a shift in our policy.”

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“It seems like the prime minister’s office is choosing to create a perception of daylight here when they don’t need to do that,” he added.

The U.S. official quoted Wednesday claimed that the Prime Minister’s Office “has said they’d like to reschedule the meeting dedicated to Rafah. We are now working with them to set a convenient date.”

The Israeli government has yet to respond to the report, though an Israeli official in Washington told Reuters that Netanyahu is considering sending out the delegation, possibly as early as next week.

Wednesday’s report comes just hours after the prime minister told Florida Senator Rick Scott that cancelling the delegation had sent an important message to Hamas.

“I thought the US decision in the Security Council was a very, very bad move,” Netanyahu said.

“The worst part about it was that it encouraged Hamas to take a hard line and to believe that international pressure will prevent Israel from freeing the hostages and destroying Hamas.”

“My decision not to send the delegation to Washington in the wake of that resolution was a message to Hamas: Don’t bet on this pressure, it’s not going to work. I hope they got the message.”