Lloyd Austin
Lloyd AustinREUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin on Thursday spoke on the phone with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud).

According to a statement by Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, Austin called Gallant to discuss Israel's military campaign in Gaza and preparations for the stabilization phase that will follow major combat operations.

"Austin reiterated US resolve to ensure Hamas can no longer threaten Israel's security and underscored the importance of protecting Gaza's civilians and accelerating humanitarian assistance," Ryder stressed.

During their phone call, Austin and Gallant also discussed threats to regional security, including Hezbollah's destabilizing activities in southern Lebanon, Iran-aligned militia attacks against US forces in Iraq and Syria, and Houthi assaults against international commerce in the Red Sea.

Earlier this month, Austin visited Israel, meeting with Gallant and other Israeli officials.

"Secretary Austin, the United States and Israel, have never been more determined and aligned, in our shared values, interests, and goals," Gallant said at the time. "Our common enemies around the world, are watching. And they know that Israel’s victory, is the victory of the free world, led by the United States."