Fox News Channel's James Rosen has learned that Prime Minister Netanyahu has just canceled his scheduled to visit Washington, DC next week to attend President Obama's Nuclear Security Summit.
A well-placed source tells Rosen that the cancellation is not a reaction to recent US-Israeli tensions. Rather, domestic issues are keeping the Prime Minister tied up back in Israel.
However, there has been a well-publicized tense atmosphere of late between the US and Israel, following the Israeli's announcement of their intention to expand settlements in the turbulent West Bank.
Today's cancellation confirms what the White House appeared to have seen coming. Just Tuesday, Mr. Obama's Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, told reporters he wasn't sure if the Prime Minister himself would be representing Israel at the summit, which strives to reduce the role of nuclear weapons around the world.
"Israel will be here; I'm not sure if he's [Netanyahu] coming. We will have at that point recently met with President Sarkozy, President Medvedev and Prime Minister Netanyahu, so we are not meeting separately with those three because we've done so fairly recently."
Indeed, Mr. Netanyahu met behind closed doors with President Obama last month, but the two leaders did not hold any sort of press availability and no photos were released of the meeting. That led to open speculation over just how testy the meeting became.
Gibbs explained that while Mr. Obama was clear with Netanyahu about the conciliatory moves Israeli must make, there is still an "unbreakable bond between these two countries."