Israel discussing third phase of Gaza war: Defense chief

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant was headed to Washington yesterday for "critical" talks including those on the third phase of the war in the Gaza war.

"The transition to 'Phase 3' in Gaza is of great importance. I will discuss this transition with U.S. officials, touching on how it may enable additional things [to take place], and I know that we will achieve close cooperation with the US on this issue as well," Gallant told reporters.

"The meetings with the senior government officials are critical for the future of the war," he said. "During these meetings, I plan to discuss developments on the southern and northern fronts in Gaza and Lebanon.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday a row with the United States over weapons delays relating to the Gaza war would be resolved soon, amid simmering tensions between the allies.

"About four months ago, there was a dramatic drop in the supply of armaments arriving from the U.S. to Israel. We got all sorts of explanations, but... the basic situation didn't change," he told a cabinet meeting.

"In light of what I have heard in the last day, I hope and believe that this issue will be resolved in the near future," he added.

Netanyahu irked Washington with a video statement earlier this week accusing it of "withholding weapons and ammunitions to Israel".

Meanwhile, Israeli forces again bombed Gaza yesterday. Rescue workers struggled to pull out bodies buried under the rubble in northern Gaza a day after Israeli strikes killed at least 50 Palestinians across the enclave.

A rally in Tel Aviv on June 22 evening drew more than 150,000 people, according to anti-government protest organization Hofshi Israel, which called it the biggest rally since the Gaza...

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