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Trump to meet with Israel’s Netanyahu and Gantz on Mideast peace

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Thursday that he will release his long-delayed Middle East peace plan before a surprise meeting next week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his chief political rival, Benjamin Gantz. 

“It’s a great plan. It’s a plan that really would work,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One as he traveled to Florida. He said the White House will release the secretive deal “a little bit prior” to the meeting with Netanyahu and Gantz in Washington.

That unusual session, set for Tuesday, comes as Israel lurches toward a third election on March 2, which will pit Netanyahu’s conservative Likud party against Gantz’s more centrist Blue and White party. Israeli voters have twice failed to give either faction a clear majority, leading to an unprecedented third showdown.

Vice President Mike Pence first confirmed next week’s visit during a trip to Jerusalem on Thursday. Pence made it clear they were not initially planning to invite Gantz, the former head of Israel’s military.


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