Gallant says he discussed ‘rising regional challenges’ with visiting US CENTCOM chief

File: US CENTCOM Commander General Michael Kurilla (L) meets Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in Israel in a photo released March 4, 2024 (Defense Ministry/Shachar Yurman)
File: US CENTCOM Commander General Michael Kurilla (L) meets Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in Israel in a photo released March 4, 2024 (Defense Ministry/Shachar Yurman)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says he held an “important discussion” with US CENTCOM commander Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla.

“I held an important discussion with US CENTCOM Commander General Kurilla, about rising regional challenges as a result of Iranian aggression via proxies. We underscored the importance of close cooperation between US and Israeli forces to ensuring regional stability and security,” Gallant says in a statement after the meeting in Israel.

“I thanked the general for his leadership and commitment to the powerful bond between our militaries, defense establishments and nations. We are fighting to defend our freedom and our common values,” Gallant says.

Earlier, CENTCOM announced that Kurilla had visited the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt on February 27, “where he met with representatives from several international and nongovernmental organizations, the Egyptian 2nd Field Army, and US embassy leadership to discuss the process of delivering humanitarian aid from Egypt into Gaza.” CENTCOM’s statement added: ” The administrators described the challenges, opportunities, and level of support from the international community to increase the throughput of supplies into Gaza.”

In Israel, Kurilla met with Gallant and Israel Defense Forces head Herzi Halevi for “wide-ranging discussions on security concerns both within and outside of Israel. The conversations also focused on opportunities to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza,” the statement read.

Kurilla also met with Mossad head David Barnea, officers from COGAT and Northern Command chief Ori Gordin during the trip.

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