Gantz and Russian defense minister discuss Syria, ICC ruling

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks with this Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoygu, about the situation in Syria, where Russia is fighting in support of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and Israel is fighting against Iran and its proxies, his office says.

“The two agreed to continue the important discussions between Russia and Israel in order to ensure the safety of troops, and about the need to advance humanitarian efforts in the region,” Gantz’s office says in a statement.

Jerusalem and Moscow maintain a so-called deconfliction mechanism, to allow the two countries to coordinate their efforts in Syria and prevent accidental crossfire.

Gantz and Shoygu also discussed the recent decision by the International Criminal Court allowing it to open an investigation into alleged war crimes by Israel and Palestinian groups in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

“The two agreed that there was importance in continuing to act in order to preserve the ability of states to defend themselves against terrorist threats,” Gantz’s office says.

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