JERUSALEM — After several meetings with leading members of the US administration, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant addressed reporters on Tuesday evening, making undisguised references to the disagreement between himself and Prime Minister Netanyahu over the public airing of grievances regarding weapons shipment delays by the Biden Administration

Over the course of three days, Gallant met with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, CIA Director Bill Burns, Special Advisors Brett McGurk and Amos Hochstein as well as members of Congress from across the aisle.

Discussions ranged from Lebanon to Gaza, Iran, the hostages, and the transition to the next phase in Gaza and its impact on the region.

Gallant refused to discuss the specifics of his conversations regarding the withheld weapons shipment as well as Netanyahu’s claims that other arms and munitions have been withheld.

“Our relationship, the atmosphere, and the frank way in which we speak, are very important,” Gallant said of his meetings with the Biden administration. “Any obstacles that exist are discussed in closed rooms. I think that this is the way to work between friends and allies.”

“Obstacles were removed, and bottlenecks were addressed, in order to advance a variety of issues and more specifically the topic of force build-up and supply of munition,” he added.

The Biden administration praised Gallant’s “professional approach” to the Israel-US security partnership, in a similar veiled criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who launched a public campaign last week accusing Washington of withholding weapons from Israel.

“The US side recognized Minister Gallant’s personal efforts and leadership to support [humanitarian] efforts [in Gaza], which have been extraordinary,” a senior administration official says during a briefing with reporters, on condition of anonymity.

A senior Biden administration official briefing reporters stressed that the bottlenecks Gallant had spoken of were not intentional and that Gallant’s meetings with top officials in Washington were an opportunity for the US to speed up certain shipments while reprioritizing others based on Israel’s needs.

The comments from the senior administration official are the closest the US has come to recognizing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s public complaints about the issue, which sparked a bitter dispute between the governments. Washington has repeatedly denied withholding weapons shipments from Israel beyond one transfer of heavy bombs that US President Joe Biden fears the IDF would use in the densely populated Palestinian city of Rafah.

“What he was referring to is very accurate in terms of how the discussion went,” the senior administration official tells reporters. “It’s fair to say there are bottlenecks in the system. It’s a very complex system and for good reason.”

“There are some things we are able to maybe pull up a little faster or reprioritize,” the senior US official adds. “The progress that was made was the ability to sit down with the people who do this work every day and go through every single case and where it is in the system.”

“Where there were some misunderstandings, those were clarified,” he adds.

Speaking about the one shipment of high-payload bombs, the senior administration official says that the sides have agreed to have their national security experts consult on the issue, while clarifying that Biden’s concerns about how they might be used by the IDF are “valid.”

As reported by VINnews