WASHINGTON – The US will always stand by Israel's side, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said overnight Thursday during a farewell party for Israel's military attaché in Washington Major-General Benny Gantz, who will be retuning to Israel following his appointment as IDF deputy chief of staff.
The event, which was held at the home of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, was attended by a number of senior American officials, including Dan Shapiro, who heads the Middle East desk at the National Security Council, and Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy.
The military attachés of Egypt and Morocco were also on hand.
Mullen said the attendance of top US military officials was a sign of the strong ties between the US and Israel.
Gantz, who is scheduled to return to Israel on Thursday, will be briefed on the responsibilities of his new position by outgoing Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Dan Harel on Sunday.
Gantz will officially assume the post of deputy IDF chief on October 1. He will be replaced in Washington by outgoing IDF Central Command chief Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni.