The commander of the United States Central Command, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, arrived in Israel and met with senior Israeli officials at Israel Defense Forces central headquarters in Tel Aviv on Thursday.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog tweeted a photograph of himself with the American commander, and wrote, “Welcome, CENTCOM commander General McKenzie. It was a pleasure to host you at Ben-Gurion’s offices in the Kirya [IDF HQ] and discuss the strategic importance of [Israeli-United States] military cooperation. Thank you for your contributions to Israel’s security. Best of success in your next chapter in life!”

A statement by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s Office said that they discussed  “common security challenges facing Israel and the United States, and above all Iran’s aggression in the region.”

Under McKenzie’s command, Israel has grown increasingly integrated into American regional military activities and joint operations.

Last month, the Israeli Navy took part in the world’s largest naval exercise, involving 60 international navies.

In a statement, the IDF said the exercise was led by the United States Fifth Fleet, under Central Command, and took place in the Red Sea, as well as in Bahrain’s naval zone in the Gulf.

In January 2021, McKenzie also visited Israel to discuss regional priorities and challenges, including the threat from Iran.

JNS

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