Top Israeli officials to meet Sullivan at White House

Top Israeli officials to meet Sullivan at White House

Affairs Minister Ron Dermer have been dispatched to Washington, D.C.

Israeli National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer will hold security meetings in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, according to ABC News.

The two top confidantes of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will reportedly meet with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan at the White House.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant will also meet with his counterpart Lloyd Austin “in the coming days,” the report said.

The development comes as Biden administration officials are reportedly fuming at Netanyahu over a video message he released on Tuesday. In the video, the Israeli leader declares that while he “deeply appreciated” U.S. President Joe Biden’s support in the war against Hamas, Jerusalem was perplexed by the decision to halt some military aid.

“When [U.S.] Secretary [Antony] Blinken was recently here in Israel, we had a candid conversation. I said I deeply appreciated the support the U.S. has given Israel from the beginning of the war. But I also said something else. I said it’s inconceivable that in the past few months, the administration has been withholding weapons and ammunition to Israel,” he said.

“Israel, America’s closest ally, fighting for its life, fighting against Iran and our other common enemies,” Netanyahu continued.

“Secretary Blinken assured me that the administration is working day and night to remove these bottlenecks. I certainly hope that’s the case. It should be the case,” he added.

In response, the White House reportedly canceled a high-level meeting focused on Israel’s security, foremost the threat from Tehran.

That “strategic dialogue” is led by Sullivan and Hanegbi, and includes officials from the U.S. State Department, Pentagon and intelligence agencies, along with their Israeli counterparts.

From left US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan US Secretary of State Antony Blinken US President Joe Biden Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and Israeli National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi gather in Tel Aviv to discuss the war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip Oct 18 2023 Credit Avi OhayonGPO source JNS

One U.S. official cited in an Axios report claimed that the meeting was postponed rather than canceled, due to a “scheduling issue.”

ABC News confirmed that Washington was indeed looking to reschedule the meeting.

On Wednesday, Netanyahu told a bipartisan delegation of members of Congress that he hopes the issue of American arms transfers to the Jewish state will soon be resolved.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog also met with the congressional delegation, expressing deep appreciation for the bilateral relationship.

“I say repeatedly, we are utterly grateful to the United States of America for standing with us in this war. And I’m very grateful to the president of the United States for being here at the beginning of the war and sending a clear message on behalf of the American people,” said Herzog.

“And we also respect tremendously the bipartisan support that crosses all divides and conflicts within American society. We are fighting here the battle of the free world against the Empire of Evil. That’s why we must stay together. And if we have anything to discuss, it should be discussed quietly,” he added.

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