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CIA director arrives in Israel

November 6, 2023 at 11:20 am

The seal of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is seen at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, April 13, 2016 [SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images]

The director of the US Central Intelligence Agency arrived in Israel on Sunday, a US official has confirmed. William Burns will focus on talks with politicians and intelligence officials about intelligence gathering across the Middle East.

“They will discuss issues of mutual interest including the situation in Gaza, support for hostage negotiations, and the American commitment to continue to deter state and non-state actors from expanding the conflict between Israel and Hamas,” the official explained. “This will strengthen our commitment to intelligence cooperation, especially in areas such as counterterrorism and security.”

According to Israel’s Ynet, Burns has already met with Mossad director David Barnea. The CIA head is apparently on a multi-country tour of the Middle East, and has plans to go to Egypt, Qatar and the UAE. He is expected to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today and may attend a meeting of the so-called “war cabinet”.

The visit started while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a surprise visit to the occupied West Bank, where he met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Blinken has said that the Palestinians should not be forcibly displaced.

READ: Palestinian ambassador to UK reveals details of ‘tense’ Abbas-Blinken meeting