US military chief Milley in Israel to discuss joint efforts on Iran
Army Gen, Mark Millay, Chairman of the Joint US Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Israel on Friday ahead of next week’s joint US-Israel forum on the Iranian nuclear issue. He met Defense Minister Yoav Galant, IDF chief Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi and Mossad director David Barnea. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will join the talks next week. While military sources stress that the Iranian nuclear issue tops the forum’s agenda, other topics begin to cloud relations.
The Biden administration is said to have asked Israel to clarify repudiations by at least two ministers of the understandings reached at last month’s US-led Aqaba conference attended also by Jordan and Egypt for calming Israel-Palestinian tensions. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich additionally faces resistance to his Washington visit. The administration denounced his comment to “wipe out Hawara,” and the rampage staged by Israel extremists after a local Palestinian gunman murdered two Israeli brothers.