update deskIsrael at War

CENTCOM head, IDF chief discuss Gaza war, Iran threat

Gen. Mike Kurilla was last in Israel in April, just before Iran launched an unprecedented combined attack of more than 300 drones and missiles at the Jewish state.

The commander of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), Gen. Erik Kurilla, meets in Israel with IDF Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi, June 2024. Credit: Israel Defense Forces.
The commander of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), Gen. Erik Kurilla, meets in Israel with IDF Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi, June 2024. Credit: Israel Defense Forces.

The head of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), Gen. Eric Kurilla, visited Israel over the weekend at the invitation of IDF Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi, the Israeli military announced on Tuesday.

Kurilla and Halevi held an operational situation assessment, discussed recent regional challenges and the strengthening of the strategic partnership against the Iranian threat, according to the IDF.

They also discussed developments in the war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip and ongoing Hezbollah attacks from Lebanon.

Kurilla was last in Israel in April, just before Iran launched an unprecedented combined attack of more than 300 drones and missiles at the Jewish state.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, 99% of the threats were shot down in a joint mission of Israel, the United States, Britain and several Arab neighbors.

At the time, Halevi expressed “great appreciation for the joint defense effort to thwart and intercept the Iranian attack on Israel.” He conveyed to Kurilla that the “close cooperation between the armies throughout the war resulted in the creation of a strong defense coalition that proved itself.”

In January 2021, as part of the Trump administration’s adjustments to the Unified Command Plan (UCP), Israel was officially transferred from U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) to CENTCOM.

This meant Israel was expected to engage in security cooperation (e.g., exercises, military sales, operational planning) with U.S. regional allies and partners also in CENTCOM—specifically, with moderate Arab states.

The Abraham Accords, signed in 2020, were a vital precursor to this move and a harbinger of future Arab-Israeli collaboration.

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