Defense Minister, Defense Secretary light Hanukkah candles
Defense Minister, Defense Secretary light Hanukkah candlesAriel Hermoni/IMoD

This evening (Thirsday), Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant hosted his British counterpart, UK Secretary of State for Defence Grant Shapps at the Ministry of Defense Headquarters in Tel Aviv - exactly two months since the attack launched by the Hamas terrorist organization on October 7th.

The Ministers held a one-on-one discussion, followed by a bilateral security briefing with professional delegations. Following the discourse, Minister Gallant invited the British Secretary to participate in the first candle-lighting ceremony of the Jewish holiday of Hannukah.

Minister Gallant was joined by the IDF Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi in briefing the Secretary, the British Chief of Defense Forces, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin and their delegation. They discussed developments and the IDF’s precise operations in Gaza. They also discussed the growing tensions on Israel’s northern border and growing regional threats posed by Iranian proxies.

Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant said: “Mr. Secretary, thank you for coming during such crucial days for Israel. I would say that it’s no less than a historic visit. A [British] Secretary of State dealing with defense issues has not visited Israel over the past 27 years, so we feel very privileged, and we thank you for coming especially during these days. Two months ago, the war was launched when we were brutally attacked by Hamas, and now we are fighting. We are determined to win, and we will prevail - I am sure of it.”

“We [Israel and Britain] share common values and common goals, and unfortunately also common threats, and we appreciate very much your visit and your position. This is the first day of Hannukah - the holiday that symbolizes the victory of the Maccabees against their enemies. They didn’t have a State - we have a State to protect us and we are willing to do so [defend ourselves], so thank you very much once again and you are very welcome here. Thank you sir.”