US military chairman in Israel for meetings, amid violence

AP News
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Posted: Oct 17, 2015 11:27 AM
US military chairman in Israel for meetings, amid violence

JERUSALEM (AP) — The new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is in Jerusalem for talks with senior Israeli leaders, as violence spikes around the country.

This is U.S. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford's first overseas trip since taking the job Oct. 1. He will meet with Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, the commander-in-chief of the Israel Defense Forces and others.

Navy Capt. Greg Hicks says the latest violence may come up in meetings, but Dunford's visit was long-planned and his goal is to meet his Israeli counterparts and reaffirm America's commitment to Israel. He also will visit other countries in the region.

The violence has been fueled in part by Palestinian fears that Israel is trying to expand its presence at a major Muslim-run shrine in Jerusalem. Israel denies that claim.