'I saw the video and I was shocked'

Netanyahu renounces Likud campaign ad showing graves of soldiers. "I understand the bereaved families because I am part of them."

Elad Benari,

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife take off for Moscow
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife take off for Moscow
Haim Zach/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took off for Moscow on Tuesday night for his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Speaking before take-off, Netanyahu said, “We are taking off for a very important meeting in Moscow with President Putin. For us, the focus of the talks is preventing Iran from establishing itself in Syria. I will go into details with Putin in order to ensure that the Russian army and the IDF are coordinated in a way that avoids friction. Until now this has been successful.”

Netanyahu also renounced the Likud's controversial campaign ad, in which the graves of IDF soldiers were displayed to illustrate the price of Benny Gantz's weak security policy. The ad was removed earlier on Tuesday after it caused an uproar.

"I saw this video and I was shocked. I immediately called and asked that it be removed. I also asked to look into who did it, how it happened, and to distance those who did it from the campaign," Netanyahu said.

"I understand the bereaved families because I am part of them. For the past 43 years I have been visiting the grave of my late brother Yoni," added the prime minister.

Earlier on Tuesday it was announced that Netanyahu had decided to shorten his trip to Moscow and would return to Israel on Wednesday after his meeting with Putin.

It is believed that the reason for the shortening of the trip to Moscow is the assessment that the Attorney General is expected to publish his decision in the prime minister's cases in the coming days, and Netanyahu is interested in preparing for this.

Netanyahu said earlier, ahead of his visit to Russia, "This evening I will take off for Moscow in order to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

“The focus of our talks will be the Iranian entrenchment in Syria. We are taking action against it; we are attacking their bases. We will continue to take action against it. This is what I will discuss with the President.”

“We will continue to act until we get the Iranians to leave Syria because Iran is threatening to destroy Israel and we will not allow it a base close to our border," said Netanyahu.

The meeting between Putin and Netanyahu was supposed to take place last week, but was postponed by a week in light of Netanyahu's desire to personally oversee an alliance between the right-wing parties Jewish Home, National Union and Otzma Yehudit.