Netanyahu directed the Israeli embassy in London not to cooperate with Gantz’s visit next week

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The Israeli media reported that the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has directed the country’s embassy in London not to cooperate with the scheduled visit of Minister of the War Council, Benny Gantz, to the British capital, expected next week.

Channel 12 said in a report on Monday evening, “Netanyahu’s office issued instructions to the Israeli embassy in London not to cooperate with Minister Gantz’s scheduled visit to London next week”.

Gantz, who is currently visiting Washington, is expected to arrive in London, where he will meet with Foreign Minister David Cameron in an effort to prevent an arms embargo on Israel, according to the same source.

On February 22, The Guardian newspaper said that the United Kingdom was considering suspending arms export licenses to Israel if Netanyahu went ahead with a potentially devastating ground attack on the Palestinian city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

Channel 12 continued that Gantz’s office is coordinating his upcoming visit to London completely on its own, both from a logistical and media standpoint, because he’s not receiving any assistance at all from the Israeli embassy.

Channel 12 added, “This directive contradicts the procedure under which every minister who comes to visit London receives assistance from the embassy in Britain”.

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office rejected the channel’s request to comment on what was mentioned in its report.

Netanyahu’s office had previously issued a similar directive to the Israeli embassy in Washington not to cooperate with Gantz, head of the State Camp party, after he didn’t obtain his permission or coordinate with him regarding the visit.

On Sunday, Gantz arrived in Washington on a visit during which he met with US Vice President Kamala Harris, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Upon entering the White House, Gantz said, “With friends, you have to speak frankly, and this is what we will do”.

Gantz’s visit to Washington comes in light of US reports, stating that the US administration is beginning to run out of patience with Netanyahu’s behavior in the war and allegations that he is being constrained by his two partners in the government, National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

These reports reflect the escalation of the dispute between Netanyahu and Gantz, who joined the right-wing government as a Minister in the War Cabinet days after it broke out on October 7, 2023.

Public opinion polls in Israel in recent months have shown a rise in Gantz’s popularity, as increasing numbers of Israelis prefer him over Netanyahu to assume the position of prime minister.

Since the outbreak of war in the Gaza Strip, on October 7, media reports have reported deep disagreements between Netanyahu and Gantz.

Among the most important of these differences, according to Israeli media reports, are matters related to how the war was managed, the file of Israeli prisoners in Gaza, and plans for the day after the end of the war.

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