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Pentagon Chief’s Arrival in Israel Delayed Due to Protests Over Judicial Reform, Media Reports

In this Aug. 18, 2021, photo, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pauses while speaking during a media briefing at the Pentagon in Washington.InternationalIndiaAfricaWASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s arrival in Israel, which was initially slated for Wednesday, has been delayed due to mass protests over a judicial reform in the country, a local newspaper reported, citing an updated schedule of the visit. Instead of arriving in Israel later on Wednesday, Austin is now scheduled to be there Thursday early morning, the report said. Upon his arrival in Tel Aviv, Austin is expected to meet with his Israeli counterpart, Yoav Gallant, at the Israel Aerospace Industries headquarters, adjacent to Ben Gurion Airport. This is not a typical location, such as the defense minister’s office in Tel Aviv, the report added. WorldTens of Thousands Protest Against Legal Reform in Israel5 March, 00:30 GMTThe delay is believed to be related to the mass protests, which are planned for Thursday and are supposed to become a “national day of resistance” with protesters planning to block the entrance to the airport, as well as other main roads across the country, according to the report. Austin is currently on a trip to the Middle East to visit a number of US allies and partners in the region, including Jordan, Israel, and Egypt. On Tuesday, Austin was in Baghdad for an unannounced visit and a meeting with the Iraqi prime minister. He is the highest-ranking cabinet official in the Biden administration to visit Iraq.


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