Netanyahu, absorbed in Syrian issue, cancelled planned trip to Rome

PM spending great deal of time in "security consultations."

Netanyahu looking menacing 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Netanyahu looking menacing 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
The ongoing Syrian crisis has compelled Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to cancel a planned trip to Italy this week, government sources confirmed Monday.
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 time.
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.
He has not spent much time during this period at public events.
Indeed, 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.