Photo Credit: Ariel Hermoni / Israel Ministry of Defense
White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, Brett McGurk meets with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant at the ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv. Feb. 22, 2024

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, Brett McGurk in a meeting at the ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv that it is essential for Israel to dismantle the remaining Hamas battalions in central and southern Gaza together with returning the hostages home.

The two men discussed the efforts to rescue the 134 hostages still held by Hamas — including more than 30 who are no longer alive but whose bodies are being held by the terrorist organization — along with operational developments in Hamas strongholds in central and southern Gaza.


They also discussed humanitarian aid efforts facilitated by Israel, together with US leadership and international partners.

“We will expand the authority given to our hostage negotiators. At the same time, the IDF is preparing the continuation of intense ground operations,” Gallant told McGurk.

The defense minister also raised the issue of Iranian aggression via its proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and discussed Iran’s various activities aimed at smuggling weapons and explosives to Israeli territory and destabilizing the region.

Gallant “expressed his appreciation to McGurk for his leadership and personal commitment to addressing the hostage issue, as well as his strong stance against terrorism and in support of Israel’s defense,” the ministry said in a statement.

“Their discussion reflects the powerful bond between the United States and Israel and close coordination between the administrations,” the ministry added.


Previous articleWhy We Do
Next articleElbit Unveils the Hermes™ 650 Spark Tactical UAS That Can Fly Up to 24 Hours
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.