US army chief Dempsey to visit Israel amid differences

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, arriving for a surprise visit to Israel, will meet Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon Sunday. It will be the first high-level US-Israeli encounter since the US State Department rebuked Ya’alon for his criticism of Washington’s handling of the Ukraine crisis and Iran as “weak.” Israel may have to make good on its longstanding threat of unilateral military action against Iran’s nuclear program, Ya’alon also suggested. He called Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to voice his appreciation for the alliance with the US, but stopped of the apology demanded by the State Department. Gen. Dempsey may stay till Tuesday.

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