Jerusalem, Feb 26 – Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant spoke to US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin by phone over a series of regional issues, according to a statement by the Israeli Defense Ministry.
The phone conversation on late Friday “focused on security developments in the Middle East”, including the latest developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Iran’s nuclear programme, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the statement.
Earlier this week, Israeli forces killed 11 Palestinians in a military raid on the West Bank city of Nablus, aggravating the already high tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.
Ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which will begin in late March, there is concern that tensions will rise further, as the Israeli military has been conducting almost daily raids in the West Bank in an alleged attempt to arrest suspects in deadly Palestinian attacks.
The two officials “discussed ways to ensure stability in the region during the upcoming holiday period” while “Gallant stressed the importance of maintaining a decisive position against terrorism” in the West Bank.
Commenting on Iran’s nuclear program, the Israeli minister “expressed his concern regarding Iran’s continued nuclear enrichment and emphasized the importance of preventing a nuclear Iran,” according to the statement.
The Western media recently reported that uranium enriched to 84 percent purity was detected in Iran, which has been rejected by Tehran as a “distortion of the facts.”