Gallant meets Blinken
Gallant meets BlinkenAriel Hermoni/IMoD

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who is visiting Washington, met on Monday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In a statement published after the meeting, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said the two “discussed ongoing efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza that secures the release of all hostages and alleviates the suffering of the Palestinian people. The Secretary emphasized the need to take additional steps to protect humanitarian workers in Gaza and deliver assistance throughout Gaza in full coordination with the United Nations.”

Blinken also “updated Minister Gallant on ongoing diplomatic efforts to advance security, governance, and reconstruction in Gaza during a post-conflict period and emphasized the importance of that work to Israel’s security,” said Miller.

“He also underscored the importance of avoiding further escalation of the conflict and reaching a diplomatic resolution that allows both Israeli and Lebanese families to return to their homes. Secretary Blinken reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad commitment to Israel’s security,” concluded the State Department spokesperson.

Earlier on Monday, Gallant met with senior advisor to US President Biden, Amos Hochstein. During the meeting, the two discussed the actions required to achieve a framework that enables the safe return of Israeli communities to their homes in the north. Minister Gallant reiterated his commitment to changing the security situation on the border.

Minister Gallant told Hochstein that the transition to “Phase C” in the war in Gaza will impact developments on all fronts, and that Israel is preparing for every scenario both militarily and diplomatically.

On Sunday, the Defense Minister met with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

“Great discussion with Senator Lindsey Graham about the importance of ongoing US support as we work to bring the hostages home, continue dismantling Hamas capabilities and defend our northern border against Hezbollah,” Gallant wrote in a post on social media site X.

“Thank you Senator, for standing with Israel,” he added.

Graham also commented on the meeting in a post of his own.

“Great meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Gallant. He is a real Israeli patriot and a good friend. At this critical juncture in world history, it is imperative the United States demonstrates unshakeable support for the state of Israel, not just by words but by deeds,” he wrote.

“I told Minister Gallant two things. First, it is long overdue to put Iran on notice that any Hezbollah attack that would overwhelm the Iron Dome or create an existential threat to the Jewish state will be considered an Iranian attack against Israel,” continued Graham.

“The world must hold Iran accountable for the actions of its proxies, including Hezbollah, at this crucial moment in the life of the State of Israel. It must be made crystal clear to Iran that if they try to use Hezbollah to destroy Israel, we’re all coming after the Iranian regime,” he wrote.

“Second, I will work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to make sure there is congressional oversight of weapons delivery to Israel. The package to supply them weapons was supported by an overwhelming bipartisan majority, and the United States must provide these weapons accordingly,” concluded Graham.

Before taking off on Saturday night, Gallant said, “Tonight I will depart to the United States, upon invitation by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. The United States is our most important and central ally. Our ties are crucial and perhaps more important than ever, at this time."

"In the US I will meet with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, and additional senior US officials," he added. "During these meetings, I plan to discuss developments [on the southern and northern fronts], in Gaza and Lebanon. These [discussions] are particularly important and impactful at this time."

"We are prepared for any action that may be required in Gaza, Lebanon, and in additional areas. The transition to ‘Phase C’ in Gaza is of great importance. I will discuss this transition with U.S. officials, touching on how it may enable additional things [to take place], and I know that we will achieve close cooperation with the U.S. on this issue as well,” Gallant concluded.