Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to downplay his exclusion of the so-called National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir from a high-level meeting on security matters Sunday, claiming the subject matter fell outside his purview.
In a statement to reporters, the Prime Minister’s Office said the classified Sunday afternoon meeting was “focused on Iran and did not deal with any internal security issues.”
Netanyahu’s office described the meeting as “a routine discussion… on various areas around Israel.”
The meeting was attended by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Israeli Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, Shin Bet security service chief Ronen Bar, and top generals from the occupation army’s senior staff.
Media reports following the meeting indicated that Netanyahu was purposefully leaving out Ben Gvir, who heads the ultranationalist Otzma Yehudit party, over his history of problematic proposals.
Netanyahu’s office denied any such schism between the coalition allies, claiming the two would “continue cooperating fully.”
“Any attempt to create friction between the prime minister and the national security minister and to purportedly attribute it to sources close to the prime minister are completely false — and are done purposefully,” said the statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Despite the claimed focus on Iran, some Israeli reports indicated that the meeting did deal with areas closer to the internal issues in the Zionist entity. Israeli Channel 12 news reported that the meeting also tackled the situation in Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Al-Quds during the Jewish Sukkot holiday. The report added that the meeting also tackled the West Bank and Gaza Strip, noting that these areas are outside of the Ben Gvir’s purview “but where he has reportedly attempted to influence policy.”
Source: Israeli media