In an apparent slip of the tongue on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Israel as a nuclear power before correcting himself with a bashful nod and an embarrassed smile.
Israel is widely believed to have an atomic arsenal but 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 in Hebrew 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 ploughed on with his comments.
Commentators did not exclude that this was a somewhat subtle warning to Iran in view of the recent developments.
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