Pentagon chief commends Gallant for hostage rescue, says onus is on Hamas to accept truce deal

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (L) and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant outside the Pentagon on March 26, 2024. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (L) and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant outside the Pentagon on March 26, 2024. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant today to congratulate him on the rescue of four hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, according to a readout from Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder.

The two also discussed efforts to “de-escalate tensions along the Israel-Lebanon border in the wake of Lebanese Hezbollah’s increased aggression,” the statement adds.

Austin thanked Gallant for “Israel’s support for the comprehensive ceasefire and hostage deal,” according to the readout, and the two agreed that “the onus is on Hamas to accept the deal.”

The statement comes hours after Hamas submitted its response to Israel’s latest hostage release and ceasefire offer to Egyptian and Qatari mediators.

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