Benny Gantz, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's chief political rival, announced Saturday that he accepted U.S. President Donald Trump's personal invitation to Washington to discuss on Monday the White House's long-awaited plan for Mideast peace, slated for release on Tuesday.
Netanyahu will depart for the U.S. on Sunday at 2:00 P.M. Israel time and is expected to land in Washington in the early morning hours of Monday. Thus, he may still be airborne as the details of the peace plan are unveiled by the Trump administration.
– Haaretz Weekly Ep. 57
Hijacking the Holocaust for Putin, politics and powerHaaretz Weekly Ep. 57
After Gantz's announcement, a senior Israeli official said Netanyahu will also meet with Trump on Monday, in addition to their previously scheduled sit-down on Tuesday. They will meet while the Knesset convenes to discuss the prime minister's request for immunity from prosecution in three corruption cases.
Netanyahu's additional meeting with Trump on Monday will not deal with the peace plan, and will focus on day-to-day affairs between the two countries.
In his statement, Gantz stressed he would return to Israel in time to particiapte in the Knesset debate regarding Netanyahu's immunity.
"President Trump's 'deal of the century' will go down in history as a significant paving stone on the way to a historic agreement between the various sides in the Middle East conflict," Gantz said.
"In order to move forward with the 'deal of the century,' it is our responsibility to march united under a prime minister who has the public legitimacy to enact it," Gantz said. "There is reason to fear that a prime minister with three indictments against him will make decisions based on the personal interest of his own political survival. Therefore he cannot lead Israel into war, heaven forbid, or into diplomatic agreements, should they ripen."