Yoav Gallant
Yoav GallantAvshalom Sassoni/Flash90

On Thursday night, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud) spoke with his US counterpart, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

Minister Gallant opened the discussion by expressing his sincere condolences following the passing of five US Marines.

The five Marines were confirmed dead on Thursday, after their helicopter crashed Tuesday in a remote area of southern California during a training flight. Efforts are underway to recover their remains.

In this regard, he emphasized the importance of US leadership in addressing Iran’s regional aggression and ambitions.

Minister Gallant briefed the Secretary on developments in the war against the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza, detailing the IDF’s ongoing operations above and under the ground, with major efforts focused on the southern Gaza region. He discussed the troops’ recent findings - including terror tunnels where hostages had been held, weapon stockpiles, and funds transferred from Iran directly to Hamas leadership.

Gallant also reiterated the defense establishment’s determination to achieving the goals of this war, including the return of hostages and the destruction of Hamas’ military and governing capabilities. In this regard, he addressed the defense establishment’s planning process for precise operations in additional areas in Gaza.

In addition, Gallant expressed his appreciation to Secretary Austin for his leadership and partnership, and for the US Administration's commitment to Israel’s security.