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Immediate Release

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Meeting With Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin "Benny" Gantz, May 19, 2022

Today in Washington, D.C., Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met with Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin “Benny” Gantz.  The Secretary reiterated the United States’ ironclad commitment to Israel’s security and to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge.  

The two leaders discussed the Administration’s commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and addressing Iran’s destabilizing actions throughout the region.  Secretary Austin also emphasized the Department’s focus on working closely with Allies and partners to help Ukraine defend itself in the face of Russia’s unprovoked and unjust aggression. 

Secretary Austin commended Minister Gantz on Israel’s deepening relationships with countries across the region and the increasing opportunities for military-to-military cooperation enabled by Israel’s transition into the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility.  

Both parties agreed on the need to address the recent increase in terror attacks in Israel.  Secretary Austin also underscored the importance of de-escalating tensions and protecting civilians in Jerusalem and the West Bank.  Secretary Austin reiterated the Administration’s support for a two-state solution that provides dignity and security for Israelis and Palestinians alike.