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Netanyahu Repeatedly Bars Israeli Intelligence Leaders from Meeting US Officials Since Oct. 7

Opposition slams Netanyahu for reportedly casting blame

Axios reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has kept Israeli intelligence and security chiefs from meeting with U.S. officials during the Gaza war.

U.S. officials mentioned in the report stated that Prime Minister Netanyahu didn’t allow Mossad chief David Barnea and Shin Bet head Ronen Bar to meet with U.S. Senator Marco Rubio during his visit to Israel. Instead, Netanyahu himself met with Rubio.

The move is not seen as a slight against Rubio personally but rather as an effort by Netanyahu to control the narrative and information U.S. politicians and lawmakers receive from Israel. This comes among serious internal disagreements within Netanyahu’s cabinet regarding the strategy and management of the conflict in Gaza.

Opposition slams Netanyahu

U.S. officials routinely meet with Israeli military and security leaders, who are generally regarded as credible, professional, and apolitical. The Axios report notes that Netanyahu’s office has blocked several such meetings, including those between Shin Bet leaders and U.S. State Department officials since October 7.

Additionally, Netanyahu attempted to prevent a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi.

These actions reflect Netanyahu’s desire to manage the flow of information and maintain a unified message despite the complications of the war in Gaza and the differing opinions within his government.

The restrictions on these high-level meetings highlight the sensitivity of the current situation and the importance Netanyahu places on controlling Israel’s communications with key U.S. allies.

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