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

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

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

Israel 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 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 continued with his comments.

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