Defense chiefs Hagel and Yaalon to meet in Israel

WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will meet in Israel with Moshe Yaalon, his Israeli counterpart, from April 21 to April 23.

Reuters on Tuesday quoted an unnamed Israeli defense official as naming those dates, and a Pentagon official confirmed to JTA that Hagel planned to travel to Israel “later this month.”

This would be Hagel’s first trip to Israel since he assumed office in February after a bruising Senate confirmation battle in which senators besieged him with questions about his past comments critical of Israel and skeptical of the efficacy of a strike to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Israeli officials have since said they are familiar with Hagel from his days as a Republican U.S. senator from Nebraska and look forward to working with him.  

Hagel’s visit comes in the wake of another round of inconclusive talks between Iran and the major powers.

ADVERTISEMENT: Visit to find a Jewish camp and see if your child qualifies for a $1,000 grant.

Click to write a letter to the editor.