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February 28, 2015 9:21 pm

Israeli PM Netanyahu Prays at Western Wall on Eve of Departure for US

avatar by Anav Silverman / Tazpit News Agency

Prime Minister Netanyahu at the Western Wall. Photo: GPO.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Saturday night on the eve of his departure for the United States where he will deliver a historic speech to Congress on Tuesday, March 3 at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) about the Iranian nuclear threat.

“On the eve my trip to the US, I came here to the Western Wall,” the Israeli prime minister said, after praying briefly at Judaism’s holiest site, with his hands resting on the wall.

“I would like to take this opportunity to say that I respect US President Barack Obama. I believe in the strength of the relationship between Israel and the US and in their strength to overcome differences of opinion, those that have been and those that will yet be.”

During his visit to the wall, hours before boarding a flight to Washington, Netanyahu also spoke of his commitment to Israel’s security.

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“As Prime Minister of Israel, it is my obligation to see to the security of Israel; therefore, we strongly oppose the agreement being formulated with Iran and the major powers, which could endanger our very existence.”

“In the face of this danger we must unite and also explain the dangers stemming from this agreement, to Israel, to the region and to the world,” he said.

Last week, addressing a delegation of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem, Netanyahu highlighted his belief that no responsible Israeli prime minister could refuse to speak to Congress about a matter so vital to Israel’s security.

“Why am I going to Congress?’ asked Netanyahu. “Because Israel has been offered the chance to make its case on this crucial issue before the world’s most important parliament; because a speech before Congress allows Israel to present its position to the elected representatives of the American people and to a worldwide audience; because Congress has played a critical role in applying pressure to the Iranian regime — the very pressure that brought the ayatollahs to the negotiating table in the first place, and because Congress may well have a say on any final deal.”

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