On June 2nd, Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz will travel to the US in order to request a $1bn replenishment for the Iron Dome air defense system.
US Senator Lindsey Graham said he expected the US will quickly authorize the request in the wake of an 11-day escalation between Israel and Hamas, in which Israeli officials said the Iron Dome intercepted hundreds of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.
Graham continues to act beyond his responsibility as a simple member of parliament of a country and is currently on a visit to Israel.
“There will be a $1bn request coming to the Pentagon this week from the [Israeli] defence minister to replenish the Iron Dome and a few other things, to upgrade the system,” Graham told reporters during his visit to Jerusalem.
“There’s been a big dustup over the last engagement between Hamas and the State of Israel in the United States, but I’m here to tell you that there’s a wide and deep support for Israel among the Democratic Party,” Graham, a Republican, said.
Israel’s defense ministry, for its part, said Gantz would meet US defense secretary Lloyd Austin and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan for a discussion on issues including Iran and military aid.
Internally, Israel’s Knesset (Parliament) chose a new president for the country – Isaac Herzog.
At the same time, Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid has moved closer to unseating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he officially informed the country’s president that he had reached agreements with political allies to form a new coalition government.
Lapid, of the centrist Yesh Atid party, reached a historic deal with Mansour Abbas, head of the United Arab List.
Lapid’s main partner is far-right nationalist Naftali Bennett, and the pair have reached an agreement to rotate the prime minister position.
In a statement on Twitter, Lapid said he has informed the country’s president of the deal.
“This government will work for all the citizens of Israel, those that voted for it and those that didn’t. It will do everything to unite Israeli society,” he said.
Bennett, head of the right-wing Yamina party, is to serve as the next Israeli prime minister and Lapid will serve as alternate prime minister, the president’s office has said.
It is official. Israel has a new government. pic.twitter.com/czpzhVIeR5
— Noga Tarnopolsky (@NTarnopolsky) June 2, 2021
As a result, the indictments against soon-to-be-former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are likely to move forward very soon.
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