Gallant: We Will Expand the Authority Given to Hostage Deal Negotiators

By Yoni Weiss

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (R) with White House Coordinator for the Middle East Brett McGurk at the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv on Thursday. (Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant met with White House coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, Brett McGurk, at the MOD headquarters in Tel Aviv on Thursday.

Their discussion focused on efforts to return the remaining 134 hostages home, operational developments in Hamas strongholds in central and southern Gaza, and humanitarian aid efforts facilitated by Israel, together with U.S. leadership and international partners.

Gallant stressed the importance of dismantling remaining Hamas battalions in central and southern Gaza.

Gallant also raised the issue of Iranian aggression via its proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, and discussed its various activities aimed at smuggling weapons and explosives to Israeli territory and destabilizing the region.

“We will expand the authority given to our hostage negotiators. At the same time, the IDF is preparing the continuation of intense ground operations” in Gaza, Gallant said.

Gallant expressed his appreciation to McGurk for his leadership and personal commitment to addressing the hostage issue, as well as his strong stance against terrorism and in support of Israel’s defense. Their discussion reflects the powerful bond between the United States and Israel and close coordination between the administrations.

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