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

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump will discuss his still-secret Middle East peace plan at the White House next week in an unusual meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his chief political rival, Benjamin Gantz. 

The surprise meeting, 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 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.

“President Trump asked me to extend an invitation to Prime Minister Netanyahu to come to the White House next week to discuss regional issues, as well as the prospect of peace here in the Holy Land,” Pence said.


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