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January 5, 2020 10:18 am

Netanyahu, in Apparent Stumble, Calls Israel ‘Nuclear Power’

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avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi arrive to deliver a joint statement in Tel Aviv, Israel, November 12, 2019. Photo: REUTERS/Corinna Kern.

In an apparent slip of the tongue on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Israel as a nuclear power before correcting himself with a bashful nod and an embarrassed smile.

Israel is widely believed to have an atomic arsenal but has never confirmed or denied that it has nuclear weapons, maintaining a so-called policy of ambiguity on the issue for decades.

Netanyahu stumbled at the weekly cabinet meeting while reading in Hebrew prepared remarks on a deal with Greece and Cyprus on a subsea gas pipeline.

“The significance of this project is that we are turning Israel into a nuclear power,” he said, before quickly correcting himself to say “energy power.”

He then paused for a beat, acknowledging his mistake with a smile, and then plowed on with his comments.

The rare blooper from one of Israel’s most polished politicians swiftly proliferated on social media.

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