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On the plane home from Sochi, as Netanyahu comes to take a nap… with the press

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looked exhausted and seemed unusually uninhibited on his flight from Sochi Thursday night, heading home after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. So exhausted and uninhibited, in fact, that he ventured out of the First Class cabin and toward the back of the plane, to the press area, to try to get some sleep. “You guys have three seats each,” he explained, picking up a blue blanket. “In my seat up front, I can’t even stretch my legs properly.

“Just don’t bother me with your questions,” he added as he prepared to nap.

The idea, however, didn’t sit well with his Shin Bet body guards. On Tuesday evening, they had led Netanyahu off the stage at an election rally in Ashdod, to the sound of sirens warning of rockets launched by Hamas from Gaza. Being required now to protect the premier from the madding crowd of journalists, ready to fire questions on all cylinders, was too much for the security detail, and they made this clear to him.

So Netanyahu turned around, apparently disappointed, and went back to his cramped seat at the front of the plane. He spent the rest of the flight on his laptop, plugged into the electricity socket between the chairs.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was forced to seek shelter during a campaign event in Ashdod Tuesday night as rockets fired from Gaza threatened the southern Israeli city.

At least two rockets were shot at Ashdod and nearby Ashkelon. Both were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

The rocket fire came as Netanyahu was about to begin a speech to Likud supporters a week before Israelis head to the polls.

In an extraordinary scene captured on video, Netanyahu can be seen being whisked away from the stage by a gaggle of security guards as sirens sound.

“Leave quietly,” Netanyahu told the crowd before calmly walking off the stage.

He returned minutes later to resume his speech.