Northern Front – Gallant to Meet Austin in Upcoming US Visit amid Growing Concerns


Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. (Photo: U.S. Secretary of Defense, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Austin congratulated Gallant on the recent rescue of four Israeli captives from Hamas, which resulted in the deaths of at least 274 Palestinians and injuries to more than 700.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant will travel to the US “soon” to meet with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, according to the Pentagon, although the exact date has not yet been set, Anadolu Agency reported on Saturday.

“During his call on June 11 with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, @SecDef invited him to visit the Pentagon to further discuss ongoing security developments in the Middle East. Minister Gallant has accepted the invitation and will travel to the US soon (date/time TBD),” spokesman Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said on X.

The defense chiefs reportedly discussed efforts to de-escalate tensions along the Israel-Lebanon border “in the wake of Lebanese Hezbollah’s increased aggression,” according to a statement.

Austin reportedly congratulated Gallant on the recent rescue of four Israeli captives from Hamas, which resulted in the deaths of at least 274 Palestinians and injuries to more than 700.

When asked about the Palestinian civilians killed during the operation, Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said on Thursday that the US is “deeply concerned” by reports of civilian casualties.

“It’s something that we’re going to continue to speak to the Israelis about. It’s something that we’re concerned about,” Singh told reporters, noting she did not have anything additional to add beyond the phone call readout.

Growing Concerns

The administration of US President Joe Biden has grown increasingly concerned that Israel could draw the US into a war in Lebanon as Tel Aviv continues to escalate tensions on its northern border and intensify attacks on the Lebanese movement Hezbollah.

According to CBS News, anonymous US officials indicated that the Biden administration views Israel’s increasing military strikes on southern Lebanon as a potential precursor to a full-scale invasion of the country and subsequent war. 

Such a development, the officials noted, would necessitate US intervention to support Israel in winning the conflict.

Some officials also suggested that the war could be unintentional, with Hezbollah potentially responding to the increased Israeli strikes in a way that inevitably leads to a more direct conflict.

250 Days of Battle – Hezbollah Reveals Outcomes of Ongoing War with Israel

The growing concerns among Biden administration officials come after months of fears that the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip could spill over into a wider regional conflict, possibly involving external powers like the US in a military capacity.

Following Israel’s assassination of a senior Hezbollah commander this week – reportedly the most high-ranking to be killed since the start of recent hostilities – along with increased strikes on the border region, the US is beginning to see those fears materialize. 

Washington is reportedly placing its hopes in a ceasefire deal, which Israel has repeatedly avoided.

“The most important thing about the hostage release and ceasefire deal that’s on the table now is that if it’s achieved, it can have an impact in the north (of Israel), so that is an opportunity for us to be able to bring this conflict to a full close,” one senior US official reportedly said. 

“There has to be an agreement that allows Israelis to return to their homes in the North with security guarantees,” he added.

Ongoing Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 37,337 Palestinians have been killed, and 85,299 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

Israeli Air and Artillery Strikes on Eid Al-Adha – Gaza Genocide Continues

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children. 

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(PC, MEMO, Anadolu)

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