image Photo: CENTCOM, Photo: Haim Zach (GPO)

Israeli leaders meet with CENTCOM Commander

Head of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), General Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr., visited Israel just ahead of completing his tenure.

By Erin Viner

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett thanked Gen. McKenzie for his contribution to strengthening security and stability in the region, as well as the significant cooperation between the State of Israel and the US during his command.

The two discussed the common security challenges facing both nations, particularly Iranian aggression in the Mideast. The Israeli Premier also emphasized the “tangible danger” in the major powers’ signing of an agreement to revive the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic at the Vienna Taks “if and when that occurs,” according to a statement TV7 obtained from the Prime Minister’s Office.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, National Security Advisor and Director of the National Security Council Dr. Eyal Hulata, Israeli Military Attaché to the US Maj.-Gen. Hedy Silverman, US Deputy Chief of Mission in Israel Jonathan Shrier and other senior officials also attended the meeting.

General McKenzie held separate talks with Israeli Defense Benny Gantz.

Jerusalem’s top defense official later wrote on Twitter: “I thanked him for years of service, leadership and partnership, as well as his commitment to the unparalleled defense ties and cooperation between the United States and Israel.”

Defense Minister Gantz said that the two “discussed challenges both near and far – including Iranian regional aggression and the developing conflict in Ukraine.”

He also “emphasized the important integration of Israel to CENTCOM, which enables us to increase cooperation to maintain a more secure and stable Middle East,” wrote Gantz.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog also met the CENTCOM commander at the IDF Kirya headquarters in Tel Aviv to discuss the strategic importance of Israel-US military cooperation.

Following up in a public message posted on his official Twitter account, President Herzog thanked Gen. McKenzie for his contributions to Israel’s security, and wished his the “Best of success in your next chapter in life!”