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Anti-Netanyahu protests continue. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu “seems to be trying to control what American politicians and diplomats hear from Israel.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prevented his intelligence and security chiefs from meeting with American officials on multiple occasions since October 7, according to media reports.

The most recent was about three weeks ago when Netanyahu prevented Mossad Chief David Barnea and the head of Shit Bet, Ronen Bar, from meeting with the vice chairperson of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Republican Senator Marco Rubio, during his visit to Israel, according to a report by the Israeli Walla website published by The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. The report cites two senior American officials.

The report states that Netanyahu’s decision “not to approve the holding of the meetings joins a series of other cases since October 7 in which he prevented or tried to prevent American members of Congress and senior members of the Biden administration from meeting with the heads of the defense establishment and the intelligence community.”

Citing three US and Israeli officials, the Axios news site reported Netanyahu “seems to be trying to control what American politicians and diplomats hear from Israel.”

This comes “at a time when his government is deeply divided over his war strategy, and relations with the U.S. are growing more tense.”

During Rubio’s visit, at the end of April, Netanyahu met with Rubio but did not allow him to hold meetings with the leaders of the security and intelligence services.

Netanyahu’s office and Rubio’s office reportedly declined to comment on the matter.

Attempt to Stop Blinken

Axios reported that according to an Israeli official, “only one congressional delegation that has visited Israel since Oct. 7 had meetings with the directors of Mossad and Shin Bet, a significant decrease from before the war.”

The news site also said that according to US and Israeli officials, Netanyahu tried to prevent Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, from meeting a few months ago with General Herzi Halevi, the chief of staff for the Israeli military.

“The compromise was that Halevi joined a meeting between Blinken and members of Israel’s war cabinet,” Axios reported.

One of the US officials said “There have been several cases like that,” adding “It was clear to us that Bibi was just trying to keep the U.S. government from getting information that is contrary to his line.”

The Walla report stated that some of the Israeli defense establishment chiefs “even believe that Netanyahu’s decisions are motivated by considerations of political survival and not by considerations of national security, and that he is completely dependent on the extreme members of his government, Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir, who wish to eliminate the Palestinian Authority and occupy the Gaza Strip.”

Gallant Threatens to Quit

On Saturday Defense Minister Yoav Gallant threatened to quit the coalition government, and demanded Netanyahu draft a post-war strategy by June 8.

Gantz also reportedly said in a message to Netanyahu: “If you put the national interest ahead of personal interests and choose to walk in the path of Herzl, Ben Gurion, Begin and Rabin, you will find in us partners in the struggle. But if you choose to walk in the path of zealots and lead the entire nation to the abyss, we will be compelled to leave the government.”

He stressed, “We will turn to the people, and form a government that wins the people’s confidence. We will form a government based on broad unity that will lead to repair and true victory.”

Previously Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant said that he would not agree to Israeli military rule in the Gaza Strip.

Over 35,000 Killed

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 35,562 Palestinians have been killed, and 79,652 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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