Israeli defense chief in Washington to meet senior US officials

Israeli defense chief in Washington to meet senior US officials


Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is in Washington to meet with senior US officials to discuss the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip and tensions on the border with Lebanon.

“Meetings with senior government officials are critical to the future of war,” Gallant said before leaving for the United States, where he will meet with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Gallant said he would also discuss the next phase of the war in Gaza and the escalation of hostilities on the border with Lebanon.

“We are ready for any action that may be necessary in Gaza, Lebanon and other areas,” he added.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday he had a “great” meeting with Gallant.

Calling him a “true Israeli patriot and good friend,” Graham said on X: “At this critical moment in world history, it is imperative that the United States demonstrate unwavering support for the State of Israel, not only by words but by actions. “

In a phone call last week, Austin invited Gallant to visit the Pentagon to further discuss ongoing security developments in the Middle East.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday reiterated his claim that the United States was suspending arms deliveries, saying there had been a “dramatic decline” in US arms deliveries for the “war effort.” from Israel to Gaza.

Last week, the Biden administration repeatedly rejected Netanyahu’s remarks, insisting that the United States had held back only one shipment of 2,000-pound bombs “due to concerns about their use in a densely populated area like Rafah.”

But President Joe Biden’s shows of solidarity with Israel and Netanyahu, while tense in recent months, have angered millions of Americans strongly opposed to Israel’s war on Gaza, including many voters who normally support Biden.

Ignoring a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire, Israel has been condemned by the international community for its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since the Hamas attack on October 7 .

Since then, more than 37,500 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, most of them women and children, and nearly 86,000 others have been injured, according to local health authorities.

More than eight months after the start of Israel’s war, large swathes of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel is accused of genocide by the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered Tel Aviv to immediately suspend its operations in Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians had sought refuge to flee the war before its invasion on the 6 may.

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