Last night, Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant departed for an official visit to Washington D.C., following an invitation extended by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

During the visit, Minister Gallant is scheduled to meet with his counterpart Secretary Austin, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and additional senior U.S. officials.

In the meetings with U.S. officials, Minister Gallant will discuss the operations necessary to achieve the goals of the war against the Hamas terrorist organization, efforts to ensure the return of the hostages held by Hamas, and measures required to achieve regional stability. He will also raise the unique areas of cooperation between the U.S. and Israeli defense establishments, with an emphasis on force build-up efforts and power projection, while maintaining Israel’s qualitative edge in the region.

Minister Gallant is joined by the Director General of the Ministry of Defense Maj. Gen. (Res.) Eyal Zamir, Chief of Staff Shachar Katz, Military Secretary Brig. Gen. Guy Markizano, and Director of the Policy and POL-MIL Bureau Dror Shalom.

Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant prior to takeoff: “Tonight I will depart to the United States, upon invitation by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. The United States is our most important and central ally. Our ties are crucial and perhaps more important than ever, at this time.

In the U.S. I will meet with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, and additional senior U.S. officials.

During these meetings I plan to discuss developments [on the southern and northern fronts], in Gaza and Lebanon. These [discussions] are particularly important and impactful at this time.

We are prepared for any action that may be required in Gaza, Lebanon, and in additional areas.

The transition to ‘Phase C’ in Gaza is of great importance. I will discuss this transition with U.S. officials, touching on how it may enable additional things [to take place], and I know that we will achieve close cooperation with the U.S. on this issue as well.”