- Sputnik International, 1920
Get the latest news from around the world, live coverage, off-beat stories, features and analysis.

Israeli Defense Chief Heads to US Amid Biden-Netanyahu Weapons Freeze Spat

© AP Photo / Evelyn HocksteinUS Secretary of State Antony Blinken walks with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, right, at the Kerem Shalom border crossing in Kerem Shalom, Israel, Wednesday May 1, 2024.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken walks with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, right, at the Kerem Shalom border crossing in Kerem Shalom, Israel, Wednesday May 1, 2024. - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.06.2024
The Israeli defense minister’s trip to the US comes hot on the heels of a recent video where a riled-up Benjamin Netanyahu expressed indignation over a paused weapons shipment from Washington, further fueling the animosity between him and American President Joe Biden.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is heading to Washington amid a scramble to get the US to unfreeze a weapons shipment to Tel Aviv, local media reported.
Despite having received billions-worth of American military aid, Israel has been infuriated by the holdup of a cache of large bombs. Gallant is apparently seeking to address the issue, telling reporters before setting off that the upcoming “meetings with the senior government officials are critical for the future of the war.”
“During these meetings, I plan to discuss developments [on the southern and northern fronts], in Gaza and Lebanon… We are prepared for any action that may be required in Gaza, Lebanon, and in additional areas,” Gallant stated, adding he would be discussing the “transition to ‘Phase 3’ in Gaza” in Washington.
Gallant is scheduled to meet with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, CIA Director William Burns and Special Envoy Amos Hochstein. Accompanying Gallant are Defense Ministry Director General Eyal Zamir, Deputy IDF Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Amir Baram, his chief of staff Shachar Katz, military secretary Brig. Gen. Guy Markizano, and Israeli Ministry of Defense Political-Military Director.
A broad range of issues besides the deferred arms shipment are reportedly set to be discussed, such as “operations necessary to achieve the goals of the war against Hamas," efforts to "ensure the return of the hostages held by Hamas, and measures required to achieve regional stability,” according to a readout from Gallant’s office.
He will also raise the unique areas of cooperation between the US and Israeli defense establishments, with an emphasis on force build-up efforts and power projection, while maintaining Israel’s qualitative edge in the region,” the statement added.
Specifically, the Israeli delegation will purportedly be holding meetings with senior US military officials to discuss "phase three" of the operations in the Gazan city of Rafah. That phase is to presuppose the withdrawal of some of Israel's ground forces from the Gaza Strip, with focus directed towards localized operations against Hamas.
Furthermore, Israel's plans for an offensive against Hezbollah in Lebanon will also come up for discussion, as will Iran’s nuclear program.

Israel and Hezbollah have exchanged fire almost daily since the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel and the Israeli assault on Gaza. Earlier in the month, the Israel Defense Forces said it had approved and validated operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon as part of a situational assessment. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said later that Israel was close to reaching a decision to "change the rules" against Hezbollah.

Hezbollah fighters hold flags as they attend the memorial of their slain leader Sheik Abbas al-Mousawi, who was killed by an Israeli airstrike in 1992 - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.06.2024
Israel Can’t Win All Out War Against Lebanon’s Hezbollah: Here’s Why
The trip comes as tensions have ratcheted up between US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli PM let loose a barrage of criticism targeting the White House in a recent video.
It is inconceivable that in the past few months, the administration has been withholding weapons and ammunition to Israel,” the Israeli Prime Minister said.
Facing dire poll numbers and a growing protest movement, the Biden administration made a show of seemingly setting a red line for Netanyahu in May, putting on hold a shipment of weapons that included the 1,800 MK84 2,000-pound bombs and 1,700 500-pound bombs. The move came amid failed US attempts to get Israel to rethink its decision to go ahead with its Rafah operation.

At least 37,551 people have been killed and 85,911 wounded in Israel’s war on Hamas in Gaza since October 7, according to the enclave's health authorities.

When Netanyahu suggested that the US had been "withholding" other weapons and ammunition shipments in addition to the high-payload bombs, the White House retorted, calling the comments “deeply disappointing” and added that it didn’t know “what he's talking about", and then canceled a meeting with high-ranking Israeli officials in response.
In an interview with the Punchbowl news site on June 21, Netanyahu repeated the accusations, adding that attempts to resolve the issue via “many quiet conversations between our officials and American officials, and between me and the president to try to iron out this diminution of supply” had fallen through.
Tel Aviv had been “very close” to reaching an agreement with Washington to unfreeze the deliveries, Ynet quoted an Israeli source as saying. However, Netanyahu’s irate video supposedly didn’t help matters. The Israeli PM is also set to visit the US, and will have a chance to address a joint session of Congress on July 24.
Palestinians look at the destruction after an Israeli strike on residential building in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, May 7, 2024.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.05.2024
'It's Indescribable': Humanitarian Crisis in Rafah Rapidly Unfolds as US Pauses Arms Shipment
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала