Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon departed for the U.S. and France on Thursday, but instead of leaving Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon in charge, Ya'alon assigned the duty to Homefront Defense Minister Gilad Erdan.
Erdan is also a member of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
Ya'alon is slated to meet with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Washington, along with members of the Senate and Congress and representatives of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
According to Army Radio, Ya'alon and Hagel will focus primarily on developments in Syria and in Iran.
According to a Channel 10 news report earlier in the week, Ya'alon expressed outrage over comments recently made by Danon during an interview with The Times of Israel, in which Danon said the Israeli government did not support a two-state solution and would work to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state. The defense minister reportedly asked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to have a talk with Danon. Netanyahu's office said that Danon's remarks "do not represent the position of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the government of Israel."
The daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Monday that Ya'alon was displeased with Danon's appointment as his deputy after January's elections.
According to the report, since Danon's appointment, Ya'alon had "seriously curtailed [Danon's] powers as his deputy, reduced as much as possible his meetings with military personnel and didn't permit him to appoint a military aide [for himself]."