US pledges support for whoever leads Israel - GulfToday

US pledges support for whoever leads Israel


This file photo shows the US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin attends a meeting.

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz received a pledge of US support for whoever is Israel's next leader on Thursday as he met with top officials in Washington while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was facing ouster back home.

US security and defence officials also told Gantz they would help replenish its "Iron Dome" missile defence system after it was used heavily in the recent conflict with Gaza, but also pressed Israel to reduce tensions with Palestinians.

"We're not going to speak to government formation while it's in process," State Department spokesman Ned Price said after Gantz met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken.


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"Regardless of what happens, regardless of what government is in place, our stalwart support, our ironclad support for Israel will remain," he said.

At the Pentagon, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin reiterated that Washington supports Israel's right to defend itself, but that security also involved rebuilding confidence with Palestinians.

"The President has expressed his full support for replenishing Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system, which saved so many innocent lives during the most recent conflict," Austin told Gantz.

"Now going forward, we seek lasting security for Israelis and Palestinians alike," he said.

"As my colleague Secretary Blinken made clear in Israel last week, a lot of work needs to be done to rebuild confidence and trust, and to create conditions to reengage in a meaningful way on the path to a two-state solution."

Agence France-Presse

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