U.S. Defense Secretary Meets with Israeli Officials

He urged Israel to protect Gazans.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with his Israeli counterpart and the nation’s military chief on Monday in Tel Aviv. Secretary Austin stressed the support from President Biden’s administration for Israel while expressing concerns about the increases in the death toll among Palestinians. He said Israel could face “strategic defeat” if it does not do more to protect civilians. 

Secretary Austin said at an earlier defense forum, “In this kind of a fight, the center of gravity is the civilian population. And if you drive them into the arms of the enemy, you replace a tactical victory with a strategic defeat.” He added on Monday, “As I’ve said, protecting Palestinian civilians in Gaza is both a moral duty and a strategic imperative.” 

Secretary Austin is also expected to meet with top officials including Prime Minister Netanyahu before continuing to Bahrain where he will discuss threats by the Houthi rebels in Yemen to Red Sea shipping.  Secretary Austin has called for an international coalition to secure the key waterway which leads to the Suez Canal. British Petroleum is one of the most recent companies to suspend Red Sea shipping amid continued drone and pirate attacks by Yemen’s Houthi militants. 

The defense secretary is also expected to visit Qatar for further discussions about hostage releases by Hamas.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Secretary Austin to be prudent in his discussions regarding Israel and the protection of civilians.
  • For the defense secretary to be led by the Lord as he holds the meeting about shipping disruptions in the Red Sea.

Sources: NY Times, Washington Times

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