ראש הממשלה נפתלי בנט עם לויד אוסטין שר ההגנה האמריקני
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin greets Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the Pentagon on Wednesday
Photo: AP
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin greets Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the Pentagon on Wednesday

U.S. defense secretary meets Bennett, vows commitment to Israel's security

Lloyd Austin says administration committed to maintaining Jewish state’s qualitative military edge and to 'ensure it can defend itself against threats from Iran, its proxies and terrorist groups'

Itamar Eichner |
Updated: 08.26.21, 00:02
In his first official visit to the United States, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met the country's Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who vowed to maintain Washington's commitment to Israel's security.
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  • Bennett later met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken who reiterated Austin's remarks that U.S.'s commitment to Israel's security is not up for debate.
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    ראש הממשלה נפתלי בנט עם לויד אוסטין שר ההגנה האמריקני
    ראש הממשלה נפתלי בנט עם לויד אוסטין שר ההגנה האמריקני
    U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin greets Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the Pentagon on Wednesday
    (Photo: AP)
    On Thursday, the prime minister will meet U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House.
    Austin during the meeting said the United States was "committed to strengthening its strategic relationship with Israel. "The administration is committed to Israel’s security and its right to self-defense,” Austin said.
    Speaking at the Pentagon ahead of the meeting the defense secretary added that “Iran must be held accountable for acts of aggression in the Middle East and on international waters,” Austin said referring to the July 30 drone attack on the Israeli operated Mercer Street oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman, which Israel and the United States attributed to Iran.
    2 View gallery
    ראש הממשלה נפתלי בנט עם לויד אוסטין שר ההגנה האמריקני
    ראש הממשלה נפתלי בנט עם לויד אוסטין שר ההגנה האמריקני
    U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin greets Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the Pentagon on Wednesday
    (Photo: AP)
    "The Department of Defense is also committed to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge, and to ensure that Israel can defend itself against threats from Iran, its proxies, and terrorist groups,” Austin said as he confirmed that the U.S. will replenish Iron Dome missile defense batteries.
    “We are working closely with Congress to provide all the necessary information to respond positively to your request to provide 1 billion dollars in emergency funding. And it’s going to save more innocent lives,” he said.

    First published: 23:18, 08.25.21
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