Israeli PM Cancels UN Visit After Failure To Secure Majority In Election Re-Run

JERUSALEM, Sept 19 (NNN-MA’AN) – Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, cancelled a trip to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, a gathering he usually attends to advance Israeli interests.

His office said, he will not attend the event next week, during which he was supposed to meet U.S. President Donald Trump, to discuss a “mutual defence treaty.”

The office did not say whether the meeting will be held on a different date.

The cancellation came a day after the Israeli parliamentary elections, in which Netanyahu, the country’s longest-serving prime minister, failed to secure a majority, casting doubts on his long dominance in Israeli politics.

On Wednesday evening, the Israeli Central Elections Committee said, after counting almost 91 percent of the votes, Netanyahu’s main challenger, Benny Gantz and his centrist Blue and White party, won 32 seats in the 120-seat parliament. Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party won only 31 seats.

Both Netanyahu and Gantz, a former military chief, did not secure enough votes to immediately form a majority coalition, opening the door for lengthy coalition negotiations.– NNN-MA’AN