Benny Gantz expected to refuse Trump's invitation to White House – report

Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday that the president had invited Netanyahu to show him the Middle East peace plan, and that the prime minister had suggested that Gantz be invited as well.

Benny Gantz has awoken from his post-election slumber. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Benny Gantz has awoken from his post-election slumber.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz is expected to refuse US President Donald Trump's invitation to the White House, because he sees it as a political trap by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to sources in his party, Maariv reported.
Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday that Trump had invited Netanyahu to present to him the "Deal of the Century" Middle East peace plan, and that the primie minister had suggested that Gantz be invited as well.
Trump said on Thursday evening that the release of his administration's long-awaited peace plan is imminent; it is expected to take place before Netanyahu and Gantz's visit to Washington on Tuesday.
"I was surprised that both of them came off the campaign trail," said Trump about the expected visit by Gantz and Netanyahu. "We have both candidates coming – unheard of."

The timing of Trump’s announcement of his Middle East peace plan on the day the Knesset plenum is set to vote to create a House Committee that will reject Netanyahu’s immunity request is not coincidental, a source in the Blue and White Party said Thursday night.
 
Netanyahu tried unsuccessfully to prevent the Knesset from convening on immunity after it became apparent that he lacked a majority on the issue. The vote in the Knesset should be postponed because Netanyahu will go to Washington for the unveiling of the peace plan, Likud officials also said on Thursday.
Asked if it is proper to take a step against the prime minister when he is on a diplomatic mission abroad, the source said: “We are not doing an act against the prime minister. It would be nice if the prime minister came, but he is not needed.”

Gil Hoffman and Omri Nahmias contributed to this report.