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Statement | Sept. 14, 2022

Readout from CENTCOM Commander’s Visit to the Israeli border of the Gaza Strip on Sept. 13


TAMPA, Fla. From Colonel Joe Buccino, CENTCOM Spokesman:

“Yesterday, General Michael ‘Erik’ Kurilla, commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), visited the Israeli border of the Gaza Strip. There, he met with leaders from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Southern Command and Gaza Division, the IDF forces charged with protecting communities near the Gaza border.

“In addition, he visited the Southern Command headquarters, where he received a briefing on the current security environment, integrated air and missile defense, and walked through a tunnel network with IDF leadership. He also visited the Gaza Division Operations Center where he received a briefing on recent operations. Throughout the visit, General Kurilla was accompanied by Major General Herzi Halevi, Deputy Chief of Staff of the IDF. 

“General Kurilla also made an unplanned stop at the Erez Crossing between the Israeli kibbutz of Erez and the town of Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip, the crossing site for Palestinians entering Israel on work permits.

“This was General Kurilla’s third visit to Israel – part of his seventh trip to the region since taking command on April 1, 2022.”


From General Kurilla:

“Our strategic partnerships within the region are critical to regional security and stability. My visit to the Israeli border of the Gaza strip Tuesday reinforced the importance of the partnership between the Israel Defense Forces and CENTCOM in addressing the myriad threats Israel faces.

“U.S. Central Command sends its condolences to the Israel Defense Forces and to the Family of Major Bar Falach, Deputy Commanding Officer of the Nahal Reconnaissance Battalion, who was killed in a firefight with a terrorist group early Wednesday morning during a counterterror operation near an Israeli border station at the Jaleen Crossing, north of Jenin.”