Israel’s defense minister is pressing the Pentagon for help

WASHINGTON (Nexter) – Amid the escalating conflict between President Joe Biden and the Israeli government, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant sat down with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon on Tuesday to talk through disagreements on how to defeat Hamas.

Before the meeting, Secretary Austin stressed the need to dramatically increase aid to Gaza by land and sea, and noted that the humanitarian crisis is growing.

“Gaza is suffering a humanitarian disaster and the situation is getting worse,” said Austin.

He also warned against Israel’s plans to attack the city of Rafah without protecting the more than one million Palestinian refugees trapped there.

Gallant told Austin that threats against his country were growing, citing attacks from seven different fronts. He emphasized the need for the United States to provide more military aid to Israel to prevent a wider war.

“As I sit here in the Pentagon, the leader of Hamas is meeting with the leadership of Iran,” Gallant added, adding, “The picture is clear.”

The Defense Department said it believed Gallant was receptive to U.S. concerns: however, the Biden administration has yet to reveal the fallout if Israel ignored his warnings and attacked Rafah.

“Let’s take it one step at a time,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters Tuesday.

Gallant met with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Monday and is expected to sit down with CIA Director William Burns to discuss ongoing negotiations on a ceasefire and hostage rescue efforts.

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