Attributed to Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder:
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke by phone Nov. 2 with Israeli Minister of Defense Benjamin “Benny” Gantz.
Secretary Austin and Minister Gantz discussed regional and global security issues of mutual concern. The two leaders also discussed Russia’s war on Ukraine, including the concerning use by Russian forces of Iranian drones, many of which are being used to target Ukrainian civilians. Secretary Austin congratulated Minister Gantz on the conclusion of an agreement resolving the maritime boundary dispute between Israel and Lebanon, mediated by the United States, that will set the stage for a more stable and prosperous region. Secretary Austin reaffirmed his commitment to Israel’s right to self-defense and emphasized the importance of taking steps to deescalate the security situation in the West Bank in light of the sharp increase in Israeli and Palestinian deaths and injuries.