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      Hagel to Visit Israel April 21

      IDF Radio says Chuck Hagel's visit is "very surprising, certainly in its urgency." Iran, Syria to top agenda.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 4/9/2013, 9:28 AM

      Chuck Hagel
      Chuck Hagel
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will visit Israel April 21, according to IDF Radio.

      The military radio station calls the visit "very surprising, certainly in its urgency." Hagel will be hosted by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon.

      The two men spoke by telephone after Yaalon's appointment as minister, and Yaalon invited Hagel to visit, but few thought the visit would materialize so soon.

      According to IDF Radio, the subject of Iran will likely top the agenda of the visit, as will the deterioration in Syria. Hagel will likely use the visit to try and shake free of his anti-Israel image, the radio station added. 

      While the radio station belongs to the IDF and is largely staffed by soldiers, its opinions and assessments do not, as a rule, reflect official military positions.