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Gaza tension pushes Israeli army head to cancel US visit

The Chief of Staff of the Israel Defence Forces, Aviv Kochavi, has cancelled his visit to the United States, during which he was scheduled to meet with American officials to mobilise them against rejoining the Iran nuclear deal, an IDF spokesperson announced on Sunday.

According to the Jerusalem Post, this follows “a security assessment, and to improve the preparations for possible developments” on the nominal border with the Gaza Strip.

During a meeting in the headquarters of the IDF’s Gaza Division, Kochavi conducted a situation assessment and ordered troops to be ready for a wide range of scenarios. He also spoke with the heads of Israeli settlements near Gaza and expressed his appreciation for their “leadership and resilience”.

Kochavi told them that, “In recent days, we are facing violent events in several locations in the Palestinian front, and we are acting to restore the stability and the peace to the communities of the south. At the same time, we are preparing in full for the possibility of an escalation or expanding the campaign.”