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November 21, 2002

Netanyahu not invited to security cabinet meeting on Jerusalem suicide bombing

Politics in a time of crisis.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon did not invite Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to a security Cabinet meeting that was called to work out a response to a suicide bombing on a Jerusalem bus that killed 11 passengers.

Raanan Gissin, an aide to Sharon, said it was not unusual for the foreign minister not to attend such a meeting.

However, the Israeli media reported that Sharon did not want Netanyahu at the meeting because he did not want the foreign minister to relaunch the debate on expelling Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, a plan opposed by Israeli security forces.

Sharon is harshly critical of Arafat, but says he has promised the United States not to harm the Palestinian leader.