Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled his trip to Washington next week for President Obama's global nuclear summit in the wake of escalating tensions between the two nations over Israel's planned housing expansion in East Jerusalem, Fox News has confirmed.
But Netanyahu's cancellation was due to domestic issues keeping him tied up in Israel, a source told Fox News.
According to the Israeli press, Netanyahu has decided to send Dan Meridor, minister for Intelligence Affairs, as the country's representative to the summit to avoid possible criticism from the representatives of the Islamic countries.
Netanyahu got a chilly reception at the White House last month after Israel announced plans to build 1,600 new apartments for Jews in East Jerusalem – the section of the holy city claimed by the Palestinians.
To add insult to injury, Israel's announcement came during a visit from Vice President Biden. The announcement drew sharp condemnations from Washington and calls to cancel the construction plans – requests that Netanyahu says he will not heed. (continues here)