Photo Credit: Ariel Hermoni / Israel Ministry of Defense
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington DC. June 24, 2024

Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned Biden Administration officials in Washington DC on Monday that “the eyes of both our enemies and our friends” are watching how the US-Israel relationship is navigating its disagreements.

Gallant met Monday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department in Washington. The two held an extended one-on-one meeting, as well as a bilateral meeting with professional teams.


“The eyes of both our enemies and our friends are on the relationship between the US and Israel,” Gallant said.

“We must resolve the differences between us quickly and stand together – this is how we will achieve our goals and weaken our enemies,” he said.

Gallant discussed the need to exert additional pressure on Hamas to ensure the return of the hostages held in Gaza, along with the importance of promoting a governing alternative in Gaza, his office said.

“The minister also raised the possible ways to change the security situation in the northern arena. He Gallant emphasized the importance of the US standing with Israel in this mission, and its impact on the actions taken by Hezbollah and Iran,” Gallant’s office added in its readout of the meeting.

According to the US readout of the meeting, the two men discussed “ongoing efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza that secures the release of all hostages and alleviates the suffering of the Palestinian people.”

That having been said, from State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said Blinken also emphasized “the need to take additional steps to protect humanitarian workers in Gaza and deliver assistance throughout Gaza in full coordination with the United Nations,” Miller said.

Blinken is apparently holding Israel responsible for the distribution of aid to Gaza civilians, which has been routinely hijacked by Hamas terrorists.

In addition, the Secretary updated Gallant on the “ongoing diplomatic efforts to advance security, governance, and reconstruction in Gaza during a post-conflict period and emphasized the importance of that work to Israel’s security.”

Blinken also told Gallant that an escalation on the northern border should be avoided and that a diplomatic settlement should be reached that would allow the evacuated residents to return to their homes, both in Israel and in Lebanon.

Since US envoy Amos Hochstein himself was unable to secure such a “diplomatic settlement” the reason for Blinken’s statement is unclear.

The residents of northern Israel certainly cannot return to their homes until Hezbollah ceases its attacks; residents in southern Lebanon cannot return to their homes for the same reason.

Gallant is set to meet Tuesday afternoon at the Pentagon with his American counterpart, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Later in the day the minister will meet with members of Congress, including Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.