Gantz Meets with Senior Officials in Washington

YERUSHALAYIM -
Defense Minister Benny Gantz with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz met on Thursday with senior officials in the White House and the Departments of State and Defense.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz meeting with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on June 3, 2021. (Defense Ministry)

Before meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Loyd Austin, he concluded a talk with U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan at the White House.

Gantz said they discussed “the need to promote regional stability by halting Iranian aggressiveness, while strengthening the alliance of moderates, and protecting Israel’s QME,” or qualitative military advantage.

No mention was made of media reports prior to the meeting that Gantz was going to present a request for $1 billion in “emergency aid,” to replenish stocks of Iron Dome batteries and other military supplies.

However, the Biden administration pledged ongoing support for Iron Dome on the eve of Gantz’s visit.

“During the conflict we saw the Iron Dome system, which our nations developed together, save the lives of countless innocent civilians,” acting Assistant Secretary of State Joey Hood told the Israel Policy Forum, a New York-based research group, according to the AP.

President Biden “is clear about this administration’s support for replenishing this system to support Israel’s ability to defend itself in the future,” Hood said.

Gantz is expected to continue serving as defense minister once the new Israeli government is sworn in, in the coming days.

Meanwhile, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked at a regular press briefing whether U.S. policy would change if Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was replaced after his 12-year run as premier.

“Israel will remain an important strategic partner, one where you have an abiding security relationship, and that will continue.” Psaki answered.