Pence: Netanyahu, Gantz accepted invitation to White House next week

Israeli leaders to meet President Trump in DC next week to discuss administration's peace plan. Gantz invited at Netanyahu's suggestion.

Gary Willig ,

Pence and Netanyahu at their meeting
Pence and Netanyahu at their meeting
Kobi Gideon/GPO

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Blue and White leader MK Benny Gantz have both accepted the Trump Administration's invitation to the White House next week to discuss the administration's upcoming Middle East peace plan, Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday evening.

The two leaders were invited to Washington next Tuesday, January 28, coinciding with the establishment of the Knesset committee to discuss immunity for the prime minister as well as the possible discussion of the application of Israeli law to the Jordan Valley.

At the same time, it was announced that the White House plans to publish a statement on the Middle East Peace Program in the coming days.

"President Trump asked me to extend an invitation for Prime MinisterNetanyahu to come to the White House next week, to discuss regional issues as well as the prospect of peace here in the Holy Land,"Pence told reporters.

The Vice President added that he invited Gantz at Netanyahu's suggestion.

Netanyahu stated following his meeting with Pence: “Thank you. Mr. Vice President, first let me say that you spoke exceptionally movingly today, both in the substance and the depth of feeling that you conveyed, and it was a universal expression of a firm, moral stance to translate memory into action. And you are translating it into action."

"President Trump and you are standing against the worst manifestation of antisemitism, and that is the call of Iran to wipe out the six million and more Jews of Israel. You spoke about it clearly today, and you act clearly every day.

"So, I want to express my congratulations to you for coming here, for what you said, and for what you and what President Trump and your administration is doing every single day on behalf of Israel's security.

"We've had no better friend than President Trump. That friendship is expressed in the fact that we're in the American Embassy in Jerusalem, that Jerusalem was recognized by President Trump as Israel's capital, that President Trump has recognized Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and now, with this invitation, I think that the president is seeking to give Israel peace and security, the peace and security that it deserves.

"So, I gladly accept your invitation, his invitation to come to Washington and discuss with him his ideas on how to advance peace and to work closely with him to advance that goal.

"I suggested that Benny Gantz be invited to this event as well, because I think that it's important that we do not lose this historic opportunity. With such friends in the White House, with such backing from the United States, we should get as broad a consensus as possible around the efforts to achieve security and peace, peace and security for the State of Israel.

"I look forward to doing both, and I thank you again for your extraordinary friendship. Thank you."

Channel 12 News political correspondent and analyst Amit Segal reported that the plan Trump will present includes Israeli sovereignty over all Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

According to Segal, the plan would allow Israel to immediately apply sovereignty over those areas while agreeing to the creation of a demilitarized Palestinian Arab state at a later date.



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