US President Joe Biden decided to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York and not at the White House, after a long internal debate on political considerations, Axios reported.
The officials added that there was a long discussion inside the White House about the meeting and where it would take place, with some Biden's advisers supporting holding it at the White House, while others supported holding it in New York.
They said Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Netanyahu last Tuesday in a phone call that Biden's schedule would not include his meeting at the White House but in New York.
Axios quoted a US official as saying that many in the White House believed that a meeting at the White House between Biden and Netanyahu would hurt Biden's politics.
Another U.S. official said a number of Biden's aides were concerned that thousands of Israelis and Jewish Americans were demonstrating outside the White House.
The relationship between the United States and Israel has come under significant strain since Netanyahu returned to power at the head of a far-right government in December.
At the end of July, Biden announced his agreement to hold a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, despite the estrangement that characterizes the relationship between them, but without specifying a date or place for the meeting.
Netanyahu has previously complained that he did not receive an invitation from Biden, who refused in two previous press interviews to specify when he would invite the Israeli prime minister.