IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz 390 (R).
(photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz left on Thursday for the United States
and Canada for talks aimed at increasing coordination on Iran.
originally scheduled to leave for the US earlier in the week and to speak at the
Friends of the IDF gala dinner in New York. He decided to postpone the visit due
to the continued rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into southern
Gantz will open his trip in Canada where he will meet with Chief
of the Defense Staff Gen. Walt Natynczyk and Defense Minister Peter
Gantz will then head to Washington where he will meet next week
with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey as well as with other
senior Pentagon and administration officials.
It will be Gantz’s first
trip to the US since his appointment as chief of staff last
Between 2007 and 2009, Gantz served as the attaché to the US
Gantz’s visit comes on the heels of Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu’s meeting in Washington last week with President Barack Obama, which
focused on the Iranian nuclear threat.
Media reports have speculated that
Netanyahu and Obama discussed possible US military assistance to Israel ahead of
a strike the IDF might be planning against Iran’s nuclear
Defense sources said that Gantz’s visit will be a
continuation of the talks aimed at increasing US-Israeli military cooperation in
light of the growing threats Israel faces in the region. He will also hold talks
on the situation in Syria as well as on Israeli concerns regarding the future
stability of the peace treaty with Egypt.