In search for markets outside Europe, Netanyahu is planning a trip to Latin America. A previously scheduled trip to Columbia, Mexico and Panama by PM Netanyahu was cancelled due to the Israeli Foreign Ministry strike. It has since been rescheduled.
The Netanyahu-led government is responding to the threats of sanctions by the European Union, and the EU attempts to isolate Israel as a way to exact Israeli concessions to the Palestinians. The Europeans have been putting the onus on Israel for the freeze in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. They continually protest to Israeli officials the “ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.”
The EU boycott threats worries Israel’s Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who fears a drop of 20% in Israeli exports to the EU (Lapid supports a pullback from most of Judea and Samaria/West Bank in an effort to secure a peace accord with the Palestinians). Israel’s trade with the EU last year reached $36.7 billion, up from $20.9 billion a decade earlier.