• Friday, 12 July 2024

Gallant ahead of US visit: Israel ready for 'any action' in Lebanon

Gallant ahead of US visit: Israel ready for 'any action' in Lebanon

Tel Aviv, 23 June 2024 (dpa/MIA) – Israel is "prepared for any action that may be required in Gaza, Lebanon and in additional areas," Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said on Sunday before leaving for a visit to the United States.

"The United States is our most important and central ally. Our ties are crucial and perhaps more important than ever, at this time," Gallant said amid severe strains in relations with the administration of US President Joe Biden.

Gallant is travelling at the invitation of Austin. He is also to meet Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss the Gaza War and the tense situation along Israel's northern border with Lebanon, where Israeli forces and the Iran-backed Hezbollah militia have traded fire since October 7.

US broadcaster CNN earlier reported that senior members of the House of Representatives had assured an Israeli delegation of full US support in the event of full-scale war with Hezbollah.

The eight-month conflict on the Lebanese border has recently intensified amid fears of a wider regional conflict that could draw in the US as Israel's key ally.

Gallant's visit is overshadowed by increased tensions between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the US administration after Netanyahu expressed sharp criticism of the US for holding back on arms deliveries in a video message broadcast on Tuesday.

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby described Netanyahu's video as "perplexing to say the least, certainly disappointing to see."

Those comments were "deeply disappointing" and "vexing to us," Kirby said on Thursday.

Photo: EPA