Rumor swirls that Netanyahu’s election opponents instigated Jordan to block flight

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Opposition leader Yair Lapid (l) and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak (Flash90 / Tomer Neuberg / Yossi Aloni)

Netanyahu’s election opponents may have had a hand in torpedoing the trip, if a Jordanian source is to be believed.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s historic flight to the United Arab Emirates to meet the crown prince was canceled on Thursday when Jordan refused to give Israel approval to fly over its country en route.

Now rumors are swirling that Netanyahu’s election opponents may have had a hand in the matter, not wishing the prime minister to score a coup just before the March 23 election.

According to Israel Hayom, Israel’s opposition leader, Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid, together with former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, a staunch anti-Netanyahu politician, were involved in instigating Jordan’s King Abdullah II to torpedo the overflight request.

A senior Jordanian source told Israel Hayom: “Senior Israeli officials in the political system and former security officials in Israel have worked with Amman to torpedo Netanyahu’s visit to the United Arab Emirates following the cancellation of Prince Hussein bin Abdullah’s visit to the Temple Mount.”

Israel Hayom reports that the king’s son, Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah, was scheduled to meet with Lapid during his visit to the Temple Mount that was to take place on Wednesday.

The crown prince’s visit never happened. It was cancelled when he showed up to the border with more armed guards than had been previously agreed upon. He turned back to Jordan’s capital Amman.

However, Israel Hayom reports sources say that Netanyahu wanted the trip cancelled after he learned of the planned meeting with Lapid and the armed guards were just an excuse used to stop the trip.

Lapid’s office denies the rumor. “We have no idea what this is about. No such meeting has ever been scheduled.”

The kerfuffle between Jordan and Israel has since been resolved. Jordan agreed to Israel’s overflight later on Thursday. However, it was considered too late given the delays and the prime minister’s tight schedule. Netanyahu and UAE’s crown prince then agreed to reschedule the visit for another time.

(World Israel News).

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