Netanyahu Urges Ministers to Keep Mum Until Trump Takes Office

After right wing minister says Trump's win puts an end to 'notation of Palestinian state,' prime minister urges government ministers to 'work together quietly not through interviews.'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016.
Ronen Zvulun, AP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked government ministers and Israeli lawmakers Sunday to wait until the new administration led by President-elect Donald Trump takes office before voicing their opinions on potential policy changes.

Addressing the government's weekly meeting, Netanyahu urged ministers to "work with them to formulate policy through the accepted and discrete channels and not through interviews to the media.'

Netanyahu made the request following statements made by Israeli ministers after Trump won the U.S. election. At the time, Habayit Hayehudi Chairman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett congratulated the president-elect and said, “Trump’s victory is an opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the notion of a Palestinian state in the center of the country, which would hurt our security and just cause. This is the position of the President-elect, as written in his platform, and it should be our policy, plain and simple. ... The era of a Palestinian state is over.”

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked from Bennett's party also congratulated Trump after his win, saying "I am certain Trump will know how to lead the free world to success in the goals of the global war against terror. This is an opportunity for the American government to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel." said Shaked.

Following his election, Trump said he will try and achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians in order to bring an end to what he called "the war that never ends."

Trump, who starts his term in office on January 20, made the remarks during an interview with The Wall Street Journal a day after his initial meeting with outgoing President Barack Obama at the White House as part of the process of transferring power to the new administration.

In the interview with the conservative newspaper, Trump referred to a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians in business world terms, calling it "the ultimate deal."

“As a deal maker, I’d like to do the deal that can’t be made. And do it for humanity’s sake,” he added.