Top US general in Israel to strengthen ties with IDF

US General Scaparrotti underscored “the strong and enduring military partnership” with Israel, saying it was “built on trust developed over decades of close cooperation.”

Commander of the US European Command (US EUCOM) General Curtis M. Scaparrotti is in Israel on an official visit as the guest IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot. The purpose is to continue strengthening the military relationship between the two countries.

On Tuesday, he toured the Arrow Missile Defense System headquarters in Palmahim, just south of Tel Aviv, accompanied by Eizenkot and Israeli Air Defense Commander Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovitch.

The Arrow system is a joint Israel-US project. “The US contribution to the program is a key reason Israel has achieved this remarkable accomplishment,” Israel’s Defense Ministry announced in January after a successful test.

Scaparrotti continued on to an IDF field exercise, where he was briefed by Brig. Gen Ori Gordin and Maj. Gen (res.) Tal Russo. He then traveled south to Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip and visited an exposed Hamas terror-tunnel, accompanied by Gaza Division Commander Brig. Gen Yehuda Fox.

Scaparrotti also met with Eizenkot at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, where the top US general underscored “the strong and enduring military partnership,” saying it was “built on trust developed over decades of close cooperation.”

He emphasized “the US commitment to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region and defensive capacities.”

On Monday, Scaparrotti visited President Reuven Rivlin at his residence in Jerusalem and “reaffirmed the unwavering US commitment to Israel’s security.”

While in Jerusalem, Scaparrotti received a guided tour of Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum and laid a wreath at the Hall of Remembrance in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

This was Scaparrotti’s second visit to Israel as EUCOM Commander.

US European Command is one of the US’ two forward-deployed Geographic Combatant Commands whose area of focus covers almost one-fifth of the planet, including all of Europe, large portions of Asia, parts of the Middle East and the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans.

The command is responsible for military relations with NATO and 51 countries with a total population of close to a billion people.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News