The ongoing Syrian crisis has compelled Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to
cancel a planned trip to Italy this week, government sources confirmed
A few weeks ago Netanyahu planned a trip to Rome where he was to
meet Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta and US Secretary of State John Kerry,
who had planned to be there at the same time. Kerry met Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas in London on Monday.
Netanyahu shelved the Italy
trip, the sources said, because he felt “that he needed to be here” at this
Over the last few days Netanyahu has spent a great deal of time in
what officials in his office call “security consultations,” either meetings with
the seven-man security cabinet, or high-level security briefings.
not spent much time during this period at public events.
Netanyahu did not give a single Rosh Hashana interview this year, something
traditionally done by prime ministers.
One possible reason for this,
beyond severe time constraints as a result of monitoring the Syrian situation,
is so that he would not have to answer any questions about Syria or the
possibility of a US attack.
Netanyahu has been careful to say almost
nothing about the Syrian situation – beyond that Israel is not involved but
would respond severely if attacked – over the last two weeks. He has also
directed his ministers not to comment on the matter, something that for the most
part they have upheld.