Pentagon chief Austin in Israel for meetings with war cabinet

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has arrived in Tel Aviv to meet with senior government leaders and see firsthand some of the US weapons and security assistance that Washington rapidly delivered to Israel after a brutal assault on southern Israel by the Hamas terror group.

Austin is expected to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and the war cabinet, which includes Netanyahu, Gallant, Minister Benny Gantz, and a handful of observers.

Defense officials traveling with Austin say he wants to underscore America’s unwavering support for the people of Israel and that the United States is committed to making sure the country has what it needs to defend itself.

A senior defense official says the US has already given Israel small-diameter bombs as well as interceptor missiles for its Iron Dome system and more will be delivered. Other munitions are expected to arrive Friday.

Gallant is expected to take questions during a press conference with Austin, which would make him the first government leader to agree to be questioned since Saturday’s slaughter.

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