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IDF chief Kohavi to meet US defense secretary, national security adviser on US trip

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

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi at a graduation ceremony of naval officers of the Israeli Navy in Haifa Naval Base, northern Israel on March 4, 2020. (Flash90)
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi at a graduation ceremony of naval officers of the Israeli Navy in Haifa Naval Base, northern Israel on March 4, 2020. (Flash90)

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi will lead a senior delegation of top Israeli military officers to Washington on Saturday night to meet with American officials about Iran’s nuclear program and its expansionist efforts in the region, the Israel Defense Forces says.

“The chief of staff will discuss with his counterparts current shared security challenges, including matters dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat, Iran’s efforts to entrench itself militarily in the Middle East, Hezbollah’s rearmament efforts, the consequences of the threat of precision-guided missiles, and joint force build-up,” the military says.

The IDF commander will also share with American officials the military’s assessments of its 11-day conflict with the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip last month, particularly how some of its new battle strategies fared in real-world combat, the IDF says.

Kohavi will be joined on the nearly week-long trip by Maj. Gen. Tal Kalman, who leads the IDF’s counter-Iran efforts, as well as Brig. Gen. Amit Sa’ar, who leads Military Intelligence’s Research Division and Israel’s defense attaché in Washington, Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fuchs, who is due to complete his tenure shortly.

The delegation is scheduled to meet US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, the head of the US Central Command Kenneth McKenzie, the head of the US Southern Command Richard Clark, and others.

During the trip Kalman, Sa’ar, and Fuchs will also hold their own meetings with additional American defense officials, according to the IDF.

Kohavi will also meet with Jewish and other communal leaders in the US before returning to Israel on Friday. IDF deputy chief of staff Eyal Zamir will command the military in his absence.

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