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Friday Briefing: U.S. General Visits Israel Amid Fears of Iranian Attack

The coffins of Iranian commanders killed in an Israeli airstrike in Syria.Credit…Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times

A U.S. commander went to Israel amid fears of Iranian attack

A senior U.S. military commander traveled to Israel yesterday to coordinate with top officials there on what is expected to be imminent retaliatory action by Iran, as well as to discuss the war in Gaza, officials said.

Iran’s leaders have repeatedly vowed to punish Israel for an April 1 strike in Syria that killed several senior Iranian commanders. U.S. officials have said they are bracing for a possible Iranian response, and Israel has put its military on alert.

The general’s visit came a day after President Biden said that Iran was threatening a “significant” attack. Biden stated that despite recent friction, U.S. support for Israel “is ironclad” in the event of an attack by Iran.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that, amid the war in Gaza, Israel was “prepared for scenarios involving challenges in other sectors.” He added, “We have determined a simple rule: Whoever harms us, we will harm them.”

Hostages: A top Hamas official said that it did not have 40 living hostages who met the criteria for an exchange under the proposed cease-fire agreement with Israel, raising fears that more might be dead than previously thought.

Hunger crisis: Samantha Power, the head of U.S. Agency for International Development, told lawmakers this week that a famine was underway in northern Gaza.

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