Ya'alon Updates Hagel on Kidnapping, Syria

In a phone conversation, U.S. secretary of defense pledges continued support to his Israeli counterpart.

JTA
Gili Cohen
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Moshe Ya'alon and Chuck Hagel, Tel Aviv, May 15, 2014.
Moshe Ya'alon and Chuck Hagel, Tel Aviv, May 15, 2014.Credit: Reuters
JTA
Gili Cohen

Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Ya'alon on Monday updated U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on the kidnapping and operations in the West Bank, as well as on rocket fire from Syria that killed an Israeli teenager. The two held a phone conversation, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement released Monday evening.

Secretary Hagel offered his sympathies for those affected by the violence in the Golan Heights, pledged our continued support, and expressed his shared concern over the violence in Syria and Iraq. He also updated Ya'alon on U.S. views on the events unfolding in the Middle East, the statement said.

The two leaders agreed to continue working closely with one another on the broad range of security issues facing the United States and Israel, according to the statement.

The Syrian government acknowledged on Monday that Israel struck targets inside its territory overnight, calling it a "fragrant violation" of its sovereignty.

Senior politicians who spoke with top officials in the Israel Defense Forces and Defense Ministry in recent days got the impression that the IDF sees it will soon have to change the nature of the operation that began in response to the kidnapping of three teenage boys 12 days ago in Gush Etzion. The impending change will find IDF having to focus on finding the kidnapped youths mainly on the basis of intelligence gathering.

With reporting from Amos Harel.

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