Netanyahu responds to Trump: Israel respects all religions

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday sided with other international leaders against US Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump saying he does not “endorse his views.”

The Israeli Prime Minister’s statement said, “The State of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens.”

“At the same time, Israel is fighting against militant Islam that targets Muslims, Christians and Jews alike and threatens the entire world,” he added.

US presidential candidate Donald Trump will visit Israel to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu amid fierce criticism over his call for Muslims to be barred from entering the United States.

A government official said Wednesday the meeting with the billionaire Republican presidential frontrunner, set for December 28, was in line with Netanyahu’s practice of meeting candidates visiting Israel.

“Regarding the meeting with Mr Trump… the prime minister decided long ago to agree to meet all candidates from all parties who request to meet him, without implying support for any candidate.”

US presidential candidates often visit Israel while campaigning as part of efforts to shore up their foreign policy credentials.