Netanyahu Accidentally Calls Israel a 'Nuclear Power'

Speaking about a trilateral summit where Israel, Greece and Cyprus inked a deal for a natural gas pipeline to Europe, Netanyahu quickly corrects himself, saying Israel turning into an 'energy power'

Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem January 5, 2020.
RONEN ZVULUN/ REUTERS

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accidently referred to Israel as a "nuclear power" during a cabinet meeting Sunday, immediately correcting himself to "energy power."

Speaking about a trilateral summit in Athens over the weekend, where Israel signed a deal with Greece and Cyprus for the construction of the EastMed natural gas pipeline to Europe.

"… the significance of this project is that we are turning Israel into a nuclear power, an energy power," Netanyahu said, with a slip of a tongue.

During the meeting, Netanyahu also discussed the targeted assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani on Friday, saying that he was U.S. President Donald Trump was “worthy of all appreciation” for ordering the killing of Soleimani.

Soleimani “initiated, planned and carried out many terror attacks" in the Middle East and beyond, Netanyahu added. Netanyahu said Israel stands behind the United States in its "just fight for self-defense."

Israel has long accused Soleimani of being the mastermind of Iran's belligerency in the region.

The United States killed Soleimani in a drone airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport early Friday. The Iranian commander was widely seen as the architect of Tehran’s proxy wars in the Middle East.

The Associated Press contributed to this report