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October 8, 2012 4:00 am

Netanyahu and Barak Defuse Reportedly Unprecedented Tension

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Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak (right). Photo: wiki commons.

Defusing the tension that had recently surrounded their relationship, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak released a joint statement on Oct. 6 after a long meeting, saying that they “have agreed to continue cooperating on the security challenges Israel faces,” Israel Hayom reported

Barak “is in agreement with the prime minister on all matters relating to Israel’s response to the Iranian threat, as well as managing Israel’s relationship with the United States, under the prime minister’s leadership.”

With the backdrop of the possibility of early elections in Israel, unprecedented tension had been reported between Netanyahu and Barak.

Netanyahu on Oct. 3 accused Barak of “working to undermine” him and straying from official government policy, telling his close associates that he “no longer has trust in Barak.” The prime minister said that on the defense chief’s recent trip to the United States, Barak offered himself as a “moderate and responsible alternative” to Netanyahu and criticized Netanyahu’s “radical and unrealistic policies.” Barak was trying to drive a wedge between the prime minister and the American government, Israel’s Channel 2 reported.

However, a Barak associate said the defense minister “was dispatched to the United States at the behest of the government, and duly represented the coalition; Barak heaped praise on Netanyahu at every high level meeting with administration officials during the trip, just like he has done so over the past several years.”

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