Thomas Nides holds informal talks with Netanyahu, Deri - report

The informal meetings took place in the midst of a crisis within Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's coalition.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Shas party leader Arye Deri (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Shas party leader Arye Deri
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides held informal meetings this week with opposition head Benjamin Netanyahu and former Shas MK Aryeh Deri, sources told Walla on Tuesday.

The meeting with Netanyahu, the second between the former prime minister and Nides, was held at the Dan Caesarea Resort and was not followed by a press statement and no photos were taken, unlike the first meeting between the two back in December 2021.

The first in a while

Netanyahu has not publicly met any Biden administration representatives bar Nides since the formation of Prime Minister Naftali Benett's government in June 2021.

While the opposition head did meet with delegations of American lawmakers visiting Israel over the past few months, he was snubbed by US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi during her February visit.

 Thomas Nides US Ambassador to Israel (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) Thomas Nides US Ambassador to Israel (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Coalition crisis unfolds

The informal talks took place in the midst of a crisis in Bennett's coalition set off by coalition chairwoman MK Idit Silman's resignation from her role. Silman also called for the formation of an alternative government led by Netanyahu.

The coalition crisis intensified on Sunday with the news that MK Mansour Abbas' Ra'am party froze its participation in the coalition and the Knesset in protest of ongoing clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian rioters on Temple Mount.

Netanyahu's office and the US Embassy in Israel refused to comment on the report.