Gantz and Lloyd Austin
Gantz and Lloyd Austin Shmulik Almani

Today (Friday), Minister of Defense, Benny Gantz spoke to US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin in a call that was scheduled prior to this morning’s rocket attack on northern Israel.

The discussion focused on Iranian aggression in the region, in particular the recent attack on Mercer Street, which resulted in the deaths of two civilians.

Minister Gantz thanked Secretary Austin for the United States’ leadership in the actions taken this far, including the rapid investigation and public condemnation of Iranian aggression. Minister Gantz said that additional action must be taken in order to thwart Iranian malign activities, including its nuclear program and attacks in the region and in particular its use of UAVs and missiles. Minister Gantz also emphasized that Raisi’s recent inauguration points to the even more extremist and fundamentalist direction that Iran is taking.

Minister Gantz further updated Secretary Austin on the rocket launches toward Israel over the past two days. Due to the volatile situation in Lebanon, Israel is asking the international community and the US in particular to demand from the Lebanese government an end to rocket launches at Israel.

Minister Gantz told Secretary Austin that Israel’s defense establishment is prepared for any scenario, and will continue to operate against Hezbollah or any of its proxies in order to defend Israeli citizens. At the same time, Israel is prepared to provide Lebanon with humanitarian aid through the international community or from Israel territory should it be needed.

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