Netanyahu heads to UN General Assembly following Sukkot


(JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left for the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.

Netanyahu left from Ben Gurion International Airport on Tuesday morning, hours after the end of the first day of Sukkot. Jews in Israel only observe one day of the holiday; those in the United States observe two. He will land in New York after sundown on Tuesday, the second day of the holiday.

The prime minister will return on Sunday hours before the start of the Simchat Torah holiday.

Netanyahu will miss the first day of the general debate of the U.N. member states, including the speech by President Donald Trump, due to the holiday schedule. He also will miss the speech by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

The Israeli leaderr will address the General Assembly on Thursday, shortly after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Netanyahu and Abbas are not scheduled to meet during the General Assembly, and Trump also is not scheduled to meet with either Abbas or Rouhani.

Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with Trump on Thursday. The leaders are expected to discuss Syria and Iran’s military buildup there. They are also expected to discuss the Trump administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace proposal, which may be released in coming weeks.

He also is scheduled to meet with the leaders of several countries, including France, Guatemala, Austria and Rwanda, as well as Polish President Andrzej Duda and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

On Friday, Netanyahu will meet with American Jewish leaders, as well as with the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, who has staunchly defended Israel in the world body.

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