Top US general Mark Milley visits Israel to discuss security

Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian teenager overnight in the occupied West Bank

Gen Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, will hold talks with his Israeli counterpart on the challenges the region faces. EPA
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The top US military officer, Gen Mark Milley, has arrived in Israel to discuss regional security with his Israeli counterpart.

“They will address the many challenges and opportunities facing Israel and the Middle East region,” Col Dave Butler, Gen Miller's spokesman, said without offering further details on his agenda.

Overnight, Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian aged 15 in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian officials confirmed.

Ahmad Enaya, the mayor of Azzoun in the West Bank, said an Israeli military vehicle drove into town late on Thursday. When teenagers hurled rocks at the car, soldiers responded with live fire.

The Israeli military said soldiers shot at suspects who had hurled explosives at forces while they were conducting a search in the area for people who launched fireworks at Israeli vehicles passing near Azzoun.

There has been a rise in violence in the West Bank, with more Israeli military raids following a spate of Palestinian attacks.

Fears of escalation before the start of Ramadan and the Jewish Passover festival have prompted the US, Jordan and Egypt to appeal for calm.

Meanwhile, reservists in an Israeli Military Intelligence unit signed a petition in which they threatened to refuse to serve in the military in protest if the government presses ahead with controversial plans for judicial reform.

“We, the veterans of Unit 8200, have the honour to serve in the largest, most elite and most diverse unit in the Israeli army,” the reservists' message petition read.

“The disintegration of social cohesion and damage to Israel's economy, stability and image in the world will be the result of the expected abolition of the separation of powers and damage to the independence of the judiciary.

“We will not volunteer for a country that has unilaterally changed the basic social contract with its citizens.”

— With inputs from agencies

Updated: March 03, 2023, 12:26 PM