Big setback for Netanyahu as ‘fumed’ White House rejects his weapons delay claims, cancels high-level talks in US - Hindustan Times
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Big setback for Netanyahu as ‘fumed’ White House rejects his weapons delay claims, cancels high-level talks in US

ByShweta Kukreti
Jun 19, 2024 04:08 PM IST

The White House has canceled a major meeting between American and Israeli security officials in Washington after Netanyahu's remarks against Biden government.

The White House has cancelled a major meeting between American and Israeli security officials in Washington, DC, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the Biden administration for halting arms supply to Israel, according to a new report.

US President Joe Biden and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. The White House cancelled the high-level talks to send a message to Netanyahu that such remarks against the Biden administration were not acceptable, Axios reported.(via REUTERS)
US President Joe Biden and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. The White House cancelled the high-level talks to send a message to Netanyahu that such remarks against the Biden administration were not acceptable, Axios reported.(via REUTERS)

The White House cancelled the high-level talks to send a message to Netanyahu that such remarks against the Biden administration were not acceptable, Axios reported, citing two US officials. “This decision makes it clear that there are consequences for pulling such stunts,” one US official told the outlet.

Meanwhile, a top Israeli official agreed to the report, stating that “the Americans are fuming. [Netanyahu’s] video made a lot of damage.”

This comes after Netanyahu in a video stated that Israel, the staunch ally of the US, is fighting against the common enemies, including Iran.

“Secretary Blinken assured me that the administration is working day and night to remove these bottlenecks,” he asserted following his meeting with the top US diplomat. “I certainly hope that’s the case. It should be the case.”

He further criticised the Biden administration for “inconceivable” withholding of weapons and ammunition supply to Israel.

According to two American and Israeli sources, Biden's senior advisors were infuriated by Netanyahu's video, which US ambassador Amos Hochstein personally conveyed to the Israeli PM in a meeting just hours after it was released. Subsequently, the White House took a more drastic measure and called off the meeting for Thursday.

The meeting was called off when several Israeli officials were already on their way to Washington.

A third US official stated that a schedule conflict resulted in the meeting being postponed rather than canceled.

Also Read: AOC blasts ‘war criminal’ Netanyahu for protesting ‘inconceivable’ arms halt, avers he shouldn't address US Congress

Biden's staff ‘angry’ over Netanyahu's lack of gratitude

The White House publicly expressed its surprise over Netanyahu's remarks. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre pointed out that billions of dollars' worth of weaponry had poured through without hindrance, with only one weapons supply having been stopped since the war's commencement. "We genuinely do not know what he is talking about," she stated.

One US official claimed that Biden's staff was astonished and incensed over Netanyahu's lack of gratitude.

Meanwhile, Biden's top aides called off the strategic dialogue on Iran that was supposed to involve the Pentagon, and American intelligence agencies and their Israeli counterparts.

Ties between the Biden and Netanyahu administration hit an all time low following the start of the Israel and Hamas war.

This is the second time that a meeting over Iran was cancelled at the last moment.

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