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May 18, 2021 12:27 pm

US Defense Secretary Reiterates Support for Israel’s Right to Defend Itself

avatar by i24 News

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks to Defense Department personnel during a visit by US President Joe Biden at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, US, February 10, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

i24 News – US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in a phone call Tuesday with his Israeli counterpart, Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, reiterated US support for Israel’s right to defend itself against rockets fired by Gaza terrorist groups at Israeli civilians.

“Secretary Austin reiterated the United States’ unwavering support for Israel’s right to defend itself and to protect Israeli civilians, and lamented the loss of innocent Israeli and Palestinian lives. He expressed his support for de-escalation of the conflict and the restoration of calm,” the readout of the conversation provided by Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby states.

Gantz thanked Austin “for the American administration’s support of Israel’s right to self-defense and thanked him for the condolences conveyed to Israeli families who have lost loved ones to Hamas’ rocket fire,” according to a statement.

Gantz discussed the military objectives that Israel has achieved in Gaza in the past few days and added that the operation will continue with the goal of achieving “long-term quiet.”

“Israel will continue to act responsibly, both in terms of its security and foreign policy,” Gantz told Austin.

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