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US secretary of defense pushes ‘de-escalation’ in call with Gantz

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Defense Minister Benny Gantz, right, and Israeli Air Force chief Amikam Norkin, center, give US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin a model of the Iron Dome missile defense system at the Nevatim Air Base in southern Israel on April 12, 2021. (Judah Ari Gross/Times of Israel)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz, right, and Israeli Air Force chief Amikam Norkin, center, give US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin a model of the Iron Dome missile defense system at the Nevatim Air Base in southern Israel on April 12, 2021. (Judah Ari Gross/Times of Israel)

“Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and again urged de-escalation in the conflict between Israel and Hamas,” Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby tells reporters.

The Israeli readout made no mention of that point, instead highlighting that Austin told Gantz he backs Israel’s right to defend itself.

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