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Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is slated for a crucial visit to Washington on Sunday. The visit, announced by the Israeli government, comes as there are escalating tensions between the Biden administration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government over their handling of the war in Gaza.

Defense Minister Gallant’s agenda includes meetings with key US officials, including Defense Minister Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin reportedly arranged this meeting.

U.s. Secretary Of Defense Lloyd Austin And Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant Meet In Tel Aviv

The visit comes in the wake of Secretary Blinken’s direct engagement with Israeli leaders in Tel Aviv, where he voiced the Biden administration’s concerns over the potential escalation in Gaza. Specifically, Blinken criticized the proposed Israeli invasion of Rafah, the last significant location in Gaza where over 1 million Palestinian refugees are currently residing. Secretary Blinken has warned that moving into Rafah would be a strategic error unsupported by the US. Despite these warnings, Prime Minister Netanyahu has stated the necessity of the Rafah invasion, indicating Israel’s readiness to proceed with or without US backing.

Gallant has commented on his upcoming meetings with top US officials, saying his top priorities will include “ways to dismantle Hamas and eliminate it as a military and governmental body, the continued strengthening of the IDF, and the preservation of our qualitative advantage in the Middle East.”

This all comes as humanitarian concerns in Gaza have drawn significant attention from the international community, with the Biden administration pressing Israel to facilitate the entry of more aid into the region. In addition, diplomatic efforts involving Israel, Qatar, the US, and Hamas continue to seek a resolution to the war, with negotiations on a second hostage agreement indicating a potential pause in fighting.


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