FBI director makes unannounced visit to Israel, meets with Shin Bet and Mossad reps

Christopher Wray also meets with FBI agents stationed in Tel Aviv, emphasizes importance of their work on Hamas and Hezbollah in wake of October 7

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies to a Congressional committee in Washington, DC, January 31, 2024. (Julia Nikhinson / AFP)
FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies to a Congressional committee in Washington, DC, January 31, 2024. (Julia Nikhinson / AFP)

The director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation made an unannounced trip to Israel to meet with the country’s law and intelligence agencies as it fights against the Hamas terror group in Gaza, the FBI said Wednesday.

Christopher Wray also met with FBI agents based in Tel Aviv, according to a statement from the bureau, stressing the importance of their work on Palestinian terror group Hamas and Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon.

He reiterated the FBI’s support of Israel in the wake of the October 7 attack by Hamas, in which terrorists invaded Israel from the Gaza Strip and attacked several communities in southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of around 1,200 people and the kidnapping of 253 others, in what was the deadliest-ever attack in the country.

“The FBI’s partnership with our Israeli counterparts is longstanding, close, and robust, and I’m confident the closeness of our agencies contributed to our ability to move so quickly in response to these attacks, and to ensure our support is as seamless as possible,” Wray was quoted as saying in the statement.

Around 130 of the hostages are believed to remain in Gaza, with at least 29 of them believed to be dead.

Israel has responded with a relentless military campaign in the Gaza Strip that the Hamas-run health ministry says killed more than 28,500 people, an unverified number that does not distinguish between civilians and combatants.

IDF troops operate in the Gaza Strip, in a handout image published February 15, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

The United States, while backing Israel’s right to respond, has voiced alarm over civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip and criticized Israeli settlers’ violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.

Wray’s “key focus” is the FBI’s efforts against foreign organizations praising the attacks on Israel and threatening to attack the United States, both abroad and at home, the bureau statement said.

After the visit, Wray flew to Germany for the Munich Security Conference, the Times reported.

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