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CENTCOM chief arrives in Israel, discusses Iran, Hezbollah with military brass

High-level visits and conversations between US and Israeli military leaders suggest that military cooperation continues despite the deepening rift.
Gen. Michael Kurilla meets with Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv, July 26 2023 Credit: Nicole Laskevi/Defense Ministry

The head of US Central Command (CENTCOM) overseeing all American forces in the Middle East, Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla, met Wednesday in Tel Aviv with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, just two days after the Knesset adopted controversial legislation called the "Reasonableness Clause" eroding the powers of the Supreme Court and triggering concerns in Israel over the readiness of its military.

A statement issued by the Israeli Defense Ministry said that the meeting, held at the Defense Ministry headquarters, also included IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, head of the IDF Operations Division Oded Basiuk, IDF attache in Washington Hedi Silberman and head of the Political-Security Division at the Ministry of Defense Dror Shalom.

"In their conversation, Gallant and Kurilla discussed the security challenges in the region, focusing on Iranian terrorist activity throughout the Middle East, including funding, training and the transfer of weapons to terrorist organizations in Syria and in Lebanon," read the statement.

It also referred to a telephone conversation between Gallant and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin the day before. "Following his conversation with Defense Secretary Austin, the defense minister spoke with General Kurilla about the progress in the security-military coordination between Israel and the US, to prevent military nuclear weapons from Iran."

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